Look at the Neighborhood
When shopping for your new home, consider the location to be as important as the home you choose, from both a personal and financial perspective.
Ask us for a Comparative Market Analysis of homes in the neighborhood you want. Then compare those to homes in another nearby neighborhood that cost a little less or a little more.
Which do you prefer? You may find the neighborhood is the deciding factor. That’s one reason why homes are priced the way they are. People pay more to be in neighborhoods where the homes are better kept and closer to jobs, transportation, shopping and services.
Property values can tell you a lot. If you’re looking at a well-regarded, established neighborhood, you may find it worth the extra money to be there. Or, if the neighborhood is past its peak, you may want to lower your offer accordingly. Sometimes, it’s the marginal neighborhoods that offer the most potential, especially if there are signs of a renaissance.
No matter which home you choose, we can help you learn more about where your neighborhood has been and where it’s going, as well as help you negotiate fair market value for the home you want.
Get to Know the Neighborhood
You can learn a lot about the character of a neighborhood just by driving around. Also consider talking to some of the neighbors about concerns such as:
- How do the children routinely reach their schools, play areas and friends' homes–by walking, bicycle, bus or do parents drive them?
- Is public transportation available for commuting or shopping?
- How far away is your place of worship?
- Do any local ordinances affect pets, parking, lawn care or other activities?
- What are the disadvantages of the neighborhood? Freeway, railroad or airplane noise? Factory pollution, heavy traffic, exposure to heavy storms, possible flooding?
- Are there homeowners' association restrictions?
Beyond talking to the neighbors, here are some additional avenues for information:
- Drop in on local school board, government or other open community meetings.
- Visit the schools.
- Dine and shop in local establishments. (Tip: Be sure you overhear what the locals have to say about issues of neighborhood concern.)
- Subscribe and read the community newspapers.
- Ask your agent. She or he may have excellent resources to share.
Finally, as you refine your home search, request a free Buyer Market Analysis from us. This information-packed profile of specific communities (or with a side-by-side comparison of any two communities) lets you consider schools, neighborhood amenities and demographic profiles.