Buying your first home can be an exciting and stressful process. As a result, many first-time home buyers overlook important aspects when choosing the right neighborhood for their family. Follow these tips to find the neighborhood that best reflects your families’ needs.
Instead of aimlessly searching for homes across town, sit down and make a list of what your needs and wants are. Does your family like the hustle and bustle of a busy city? Or do you prefer a quiet, suburban environment? If you hate traffic consider neighborhoods that are close to your work, school, church and shopping centers.
Once you’ve found your ideal neighborhood, you will need to do some research. If you have children, be sure to check the school districts ratings. (A high rating can also mean a high value for your home). It’s also important to find out how safe the area is; ask the local police department or check out neighborhoodscout.com for local crime statistics.
While a neighborhood can look great on the weekdays, go for a visit on a Saturday to get a feel for what it’s like when most people are off work. Is it quiet or busy? If possible, try to talk to one of the residents. Nothing is better than getting information from someone already living there and you can get a more personal feel for the area.
Think like an Investor
If you ever plan on reselling your home, it’s important you view this purchase as an investor. Many first time home buyers make the mistake of choosing a home based solely on aesthetics. While it’s nice to live in beautiful home, it won’t be much value to you if you live in an economically unstable area. The best homes to purchase are in growing communities; this will ensure that your home’s value will increase in time.
A good rule of thumb when trying to assess a home’s potential appreciation is to take a look at the surrounding community. Are there new subdivisions and retail stores being built? Does it have a good amount of parks, schools, and malls? Be sure to look into foreclosures rates as well. If you need a help determining a neighborhoods value, be sure to enlist the help of a good real estate agent. They can get you the right information quickly and can be make the home buying process much smoother.