Buying a home carries enough stress – let alone, making sure you buy the right home. To assist in narrowing down your long list of house options, let’s consider your ideal neighborhood situation as well. Whether you plan on being the hermit of your neighborhood or not, your neighbors will play a stronger role in your home life than you think. So, to make this even easier for you, let’s look at some basic considerations for choosing the right neighborhood.
Have a general idea of your current life needs
Depending on what stage of life you are in, your lifestyle priorities will have a major impact on what neighborhood community you should consider for your well-being. Although having an unlimited budget to choose the perfect locale would be nice, the fiscally responsible choice often requires compromise in a few areas. Start by creating a list of your needs and wants in two columns based upon your values, life circumstances, and, of course, your ideal house:
- Length of time you intend to be in that area
- The ability to easily renovate the home
- Distance from school, church, extended family, work, parks, athletic fields, bodies of water, etc.
I promise you that it will feel somewhat stress-relieving when you can visually and tangibly see and write out a rough overview of your desires for your future neighborhood. Use it as the compass for future decision-making checkpoints.
Understand crime rates in area
To assist in alleviating your concern or worry about the safety of a neighborhood, there are some excellent resources to make this process easy to investigate. You can visit crimereports.com for access to the largest database of information on crime for your local area. You can also find some useful crime statistics from leading home security giant ADT as well. And especially if you live by yourself or need to be out late at night, you can access the National Sex Offender Public Website to give yourself awareness of registered sex offenders around your neighborhood.
If you have any additional concerns or information on your community, many neighborhoods have community resource officers or positions similar to this who function as a liason between the police department and the neighborhood to provide additional crime information for your area. Of course, your police department will always be able to provide excellent information with crime and safety information for your area as well. All this to say, when thinking about your future neighborhood, it is important to gain enough knowledge to be able to preestablish a sense of trust with the community you will be living.
Too Cool for School
Whether or not you have children, be aware of the reputation of schools in your area. Love ’em or hate ’em, a good school in your neighborhood means there is a higher demand for houses in that neighborhood, and by right, better property value. Thinking long-term, if you were to purchase this house, there is a much higher guarantee that you will be able to sell it fast and at a good price, too, when you’re at that future point of getting ready to move. This also may provide an added incentive to grow your family.
If you’re unfamiliar with the area and a school’s rapport, there are plenty of good resources:
Get a Leg Up on Your Neighbors
One final way to make sure the neighborhood is a good fit for you is by being there physically and walking the neighborhood. Select key times throughout the week and weekend to walk or drive around the neighborhood to get a handle on its daily quirks. Take a look at how properties are maintained and how active your neighbors would be throughout a given week. Walking around can also give you a better handle on how walker-friendly the neighborhood is for accessing coffee shops, grocery stores, convenience stores, parks, etc. Places like HomeFair and Neighborhood Scout can also provide you with additional demographic information to see how you would compare to your neighbors’ stage of life and lifestyle habits.
Strong communities are important to us at Homes Warsaw, and we want to make sure you’re not only proud of your house but your neighborhood, too.