Buying a Home: 4 Ways to Find a Great Neighborhood

Is This Neighborhood Right for Me?

When you buy a home, you’ll likely invest a lot of time looking at the house and the property. The trouble is that only doing this tells you little to nothing about how far you will have to drive, the ambient noise level and what will happen when you sell.

With these four tips, you will know what to look for in your neighborhood search.

1. Proximity to Amenities

The location you select for a home has a vast amount of influence on your daily life, inside and outside the home. If you have to drive a lot farther for work or school, or if the amenities you want are far away, you will spend more of your free time in the car. The shops, facilities and entertainment venues you seek also change over time. Make a list of:

  • grocery stores
  • gas stations
  • healthcare venues and hospitals
  • movie theaters and parks

Determine how far will you have to commute to see a doctor covered by your insurance. You may find it worthwhile to check out nearby parks and gathering areas. Consider the amenities you want to avoid, as well. Living near a school may add a good amount of value to your home over time, but it might have too much traffic or noise for an individual looking for a quiet residence.

2. Noise

If you prize a peaceful life, you should invest the time to determine how noisy the neighborhood is. Travel around the neighborhood at different times of the day to scope it out. Neighborhoods with large cross-streets may be louder during rush hour than at other times. Give yourself an hour or two to really get a feel for the sound.

Check to see if the home sits under a popular flight path, a common source of unwanted noise. Fortunately, if you find the perfect home in a noisier neighborhood, you do have options for recourse. Consider replacing the windows with soundproof glass, which is far better at blocking louder sounds.

3. Neighborhood Style and Upkeep

A desirable neighborhood where every single house is perfectly kept and charming is very likely a deliberate occurrence. If everyone seems to take ideal care of their yards and home exterior, and the enforcer may be a list of homeowner’s association (HOA) rules. If you love to care for your property and spend a lot of time on it, this arrangement may be perfect for you.

When you fall outside this description, you should be wary of moving into neighborhoods with strict requirements. Living in an historic neighborhood might be a dream of yours, but you may want to confirm that you are willing and able to meet the regulations before you make an offer.

4. Resale Potential

Statistically speaking, most home buyers will eventually sell their homes and move to a new one in the future. As you are looking to buy, you should keep one eye on your ability to sell in the future. Of course, neighborhoods with booming growth can stagnate or even drop in value after just a few years. However, there are a couple choice aspects to observe. Look at the neighborhood’s growth over the past few years, in relation to the national trends. If you see a lot of homeowners in the neighborhood rushing to sell their homes quickly, it makes sense to find out why.

A great neighborhood is largely dependent on your lifestyle and needs, so what works for one person might not work as well for you. With a chance to research the neighborhood thoroughly for amenities, noise and real estate market strength, you can make a decision that suits you best.