Many people only think about the house itself when they decide that they want to purchase. What is so important to understand, is that when you buy a house, you’re buying the surrounding community, not just the house itself. You don’t want to buy a house in a neighborhood that everyone is trying to get out of. You also don’t want to buy a house that your friends are scared to come to because of the area. Look for the following things when you assess a neighborhood.
- Cosmetics. A well maintained neighborhood shows that the surrounding neighborhood cares about it. This means that the people living in the community are responsible.
- Financials. Even though you got a great deal on a house in a very affluent neighborhood, you don’t want to not be too poor to live in that area.
- Safety. No one in their right mind wants to live next door to a pedophile.
- Accessibility. Is it hard to get from point A to point B? You don’t want to live in an inconvenient area.
- Lifestyle. If exercising and physical activity are important to you, you should live somewhere that there are opportunities to go walking or running.
You should check for overall maintenance of the neighborhood such as whether or not the lawns are manicured, if the garbage cans are moved back into the driveway after trash has been picked up, or if there is any other trash or random debris outside of homes or along the street. Do not forget to check out the local park. The condition of the park and streets around the neighborhood will give you a good indication of whether or not the neighborhood is a good choice. Usually, a park is a great tell-tale sign of how the neighborhood is managed.
You should also watch for any other red flags. These might include new highway construction, many short sales or foreclosures in the area, or any unoccupied homes. You also do not want to purchase in an area that is mainly comprised of rental properties.
So, as you can see, there are many considerations to think through before deciding on a location. The important thing is that you realize that you are buying the location as well as the home…happy house hunting!