Location is probably the most important factor in finding the ideal home. Not only is location essential to the growth of the value of your home, but it is also determines how long you’ll live in the home and how comfortable you’ll be. Some important things to consider when choosing a neighborhood:
If you're moving within the same city, you’ll probably already know the various neighborhoods so just choose the ones that best match your priorities.
If you're moving to a new city, do some research on the area. Think about where you’ll be working and start in the side of town closest your job. If it’s more important that you live near people you know, pick an area that’s not too far from family and friends.
Having an idea of the general area in which you want to live will help your search be more focused and once you have the general area, you can use what you know about the various reputations, school systems and ease of access of the various neighborhoods to narrow your search.
What neighborhoods have the best reputations and which ones have the worst? It goes without saying that you don’t want to live in a neighborhood with the worst reputation, but you may not find out until it’s too late if you don’t do some research before purchase a home. As the saying goes, it’s better to own the smallest home in the nicest neighborhood that you can afford than to own the nicest home in a neighborhood you hate.
Two factors that play a major role in determining a neighborhood’s reputation are crime rate and home maintenance. Look online to find a neighborhood’s crime rate and if you want to see how well residents take care of their home and their community, take a drive around the area. You’ll be able to see for yourself whether or not that neighborhood is the right one for you.
How close do you want to be to work? Shopping? Schools? If you have children, you may want to live close to parks, playgrounds, libraries and community centers. If you don’t have a car and aren’t planning to purchase one, will it be convenient for you to walk or take public transportation to get to where you need to go?
If you do have a vehicle, what’s the maximum amount of time you want to spend in commute? 15 minutes? 30 minutes? 45 minutes or more than an hour?
Even if you don’t have children, having good schools nearby is still a benefit because they can increase your property value. If you do have kids, of course you’ll want access to the best schools. You can learn more about schools by doing some simple research. Ask people you know and look at reviews online. Sometimes you can even stop by the school and ask the staff. Even if you don’t get the full picture, you’ll get an idea of whether or not you’ll feel comfortable sending your child there.