How To Choose The Right Neighborhood

choosing a neighborhood

In a recent article titled,  what’s more important a home or the neighborhood, the feedback received  overwhelmingly supported that the neighborhood was as important to today’s home buyers as the home itself. Therefore, we decided to write about how to choose the neighborhood that’s right for you.

DEFINE YOUR IDEAL NEIGHBORHOOD

There are several things to consider when choosing a neighborhood. Here are a few things we wanted to share based on our experience and extensive conversations with our clients.

First, it is important to note that everyone’s tastes are different. A neighborhood that may appeal to your best friend or sister may not be right for you.

Before you choose a neighborhood, write down the things that are important to you and your family.  Include in the list your “must haves”, things that an area absolutely must have in order for you to buy a home there. Then list other factors that you “would like it to have“.  Sometimes the perfect area won’t exist in your price range. Other times a husband and wife can’t agree on their ideal neighborhood, so compromise is often needed.

SCOUT OUT THE NEIGHBORHOOD

While the Internet is certainly an easy way to get a feel for a particular neighborhood, nothing can replace actually seeing it in person. Here are a few tips:

1.      Walk around and speak to some of the folks who actually live there. If you know someone that lives in a particular neighborhood, they will certainly give you information,  but get feedback from people you don’t know as well. Getting information from different sources is always a good idea.

2.     Take note of the pride of ownership in a neighborhood. Do the homes look well maintained? Is the lawn and landscaping well manicured?

3.     Are children important? If it is preferred that a neighborhood have other children for your kids to play with, drive around during times of the day that kids would be outside.  Some developments are full of kids and others have very few.

 

OTHER FACTORS TO CONSIDER

1.     Highway Access:  Many people are concerned about their commute. Using mapquest or even driving from a specific neighborhood to your office will help.

2.     Proximity To Shopping:  A good local agent will be able to drive you by popular shopping destinations. Then, you will be able to quickly figure out which neighborhoods are better situated if this is important to you.

3.     Are There Additional Costs? Does the neighborhood belong to a home owner’s association? Will you be required to join a golf club? Find out any added costs to living in a particular neighborhood.

4.     Proximity To Local Points Of Interest:  Check to see how close a neighborhood is to schools, the police department, and fire stations.

5.     Are There Any Possible Negative Factors?   There are a few things that are concerns to many home buyers.  Find out if there are active railroad tracks, a main road, or power lines located nearby.  Even if these things don’t bother you, they may effect resale. In any event,  you should at least know about them.

Finding a great home that fits all your needs can be a real challenge in any market. Making sure it is located in your desired neighborhood can certainly make your decision even more complicated.

A good local real estate agent who knows the  specific neighborhoods in your preferred area will be a valuable asset to you during your home search.

ONE LAST THOUGHT

Remember, while the home itself is important, when you buy a home, you are also buying the neighborhood and the lifestyle that comes with it. These things will be factors as well when you sell, so don’t discount the importance of a neighborhood.

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About The Authors

The above information is compliments of The Schuman Team, Amy and Dan, of Howard Hanna,  proud sponsors of Cycle For Survival.

They can be reached at 216-346-3235 or via email, danschuman@howardhanna.com or amyschuman@howardhanna.com.

The Schumans service the following Cleveland area suburbs: Bainbridge, Bay Village, Beachwood, Bentleyville, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Heights, Gates Mills, Highland Heights, Hunting Valley, Lakewood, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Heights, Mayfield Village, Moreland Hills, Oakwood Village, Orange, Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid, University Heights, Westlake, Woodmere.

How To Choose The Right Neighborhood is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©June,2011

2 Responses to How To Choose The Right Neighborhood
  1. LondonHomes
    July 12, 2011 | 2:57 pm

    Good article for home buyers. I especially like the tip about looking for the pride of ownership in the neighbourhood.

    It’s great to have pride of ownership in your own home but if others close by do not the value of your own home will be hurt. I know of a couple who tried to sell their home which was very well updated and keep but the biggest objection to their home that potential buyers had was the junker car in the neighbours drive way.
    LondonHomes recently posted..Be Prepared to Sell Your Home When You Are Away for the Long Weekend

    • Dan Schuman
      July 12, 2011 | 5:48 pm

      Thank you for commenting. A visual inspection of a neighborhood and the homes there can certainly make a strong statement to potential buyers.

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