Choosing A Neighborhood
Buying the perfect home is so much more than finding a great floorplan or spacious yard. One of the biggest influences on the quality of life is the neighborhood in which the home is located. Choosing the best neighborhood for you and your family can affect your lifestyle in many different ways and will take some research and discussion.
Here Are 7 Important Tips To Help You
Know Your Budget
Prices can vary drastically within a few miles based on the community, so be realistic in what you can spend that will give you a comfortable mortgage payment each month. I never want my clients to be house poor, spending more than they should have, that at the end of the month, all of their paychecks went to the mortgage and expenses of the home.
Research Local Schools
Even if you do not currently have school-aged children, schools can greatly affect property values. So while it may not be a super important factor for you, it may be to the buyer who buys your home when you decide to sell. If you’d like a great tool to get you started checking into school info, try this website called Great Schools.
Remember Your Lifestyle
Choose a neighborhood which allows you the kind of lifestyle which suits you. If you are a homebody, then community activities would likely not be as important to you, as they would to someone really wanting to know everyone in the neighborhood. Would you like an urban feel or perhaps easy access to hiking or sporting events? If you have small children, are there play areas or some parks nearby? Would you like pool access, but you don’t want the maintenance of having a pool in your backyard? If so, you’ll want to make sure there is a community pool in the neighborhood, or a public pool that would be an acceptable driving distance.
Check Out Amenities
Ask about the community amenities, such as a gym, pool, sports courts, parks, walking/biking paths, etc.
Read The CC&Rs
Every association has rules and regulations which affect the owners’ use of their property. Read the CC&Rs carefully when you receive them while purchasing a home, so you are familiar with what is and isn’t allowed. If you are wanting a basketball hoop installed to the side of your driveway, and the HOA doesn’t allow it, that community may not work for your needs.
Study The Market
Ask your REALTOR® about the property values and growth in the areas you are considering. They can do an analysis for you, as to what homes were selling for in the neighbor 3 or 5 years ago to give you an estimate of what the neighborhood has done in that timeframe.
Remember Your Commute
A lovely rural community might be relaxing, but remember you need to get to your job as well and may not wish to spend 2 hours commuting each way. In contrast, metro Phoenix is a big place with lots of traffic and almost 5 million residents, so even living one or two Cities away from where you work, during rush hour could still take an hour or more each way. Weighs the pros and cons of the home’s location to where you will be commuting to and from each day.