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Neighborhood Must Haves When Shopping for a Home

Neighborhood Must Haves When Shopping for a Home

What is the most important feature when buying a home? Location. We have all heard the refrain location, location, location but it is still easy to forget. Especially when you find your ideal location is significantly more expensive than a 20-minute drive south. It’s even easier to forget this rule you find a gorgeous move in ready home in a neighborhood that needs a lot of work. You can always fix up a home. You can’t fix up a neighborhood.

Where you live and what you live by is incredibly important. It is equally important to what you live in. When you are ready to purchase a new home, the first thing you need to assess before ever walking into a home is how the area makes you feel. The house should come second. If there are concerns about commute, safety, noise, or access to amenities, then you should take pause.

Evaluating the area is crucial not only to your longer term enjoyment but to your potential property value down the road. When it comes to selling one day, you might find it markedly easier if you take the most important rule of buying a home seriously. Even if you don’t get pizza delivered regularly, go to spin classes, or walk to the grocery store, having a home with those options close by will mean a bigger value one day.

When you are searching for new home, here are some things that you should look for in the neighborhood, even if you don’t take advantage of the perks:


Close proximity to grocery store or farmers market – Everyone needs to eat! The easier you can make a trip to the supermarket, the more value a person will find in the location of the home.

Close proximity to offices – Even if you aren’t working nearby, some people set their home search based on the proximity to their job. If they can walk, have a short commute, or telecommute, it will open up possibilities.

HOA perks – With communities that have a homeowner’s association, the more access you have to amenities for the dues you pay, the better. Perks like landscaping, trash pick-up, a community clubhouse, or pool all make for a better sell.

Fitness options – If a gym isn’t included in the HOA dues, having a great gym close by is a big draw. Gyms with pools, tennis, basketball courts, and all the bells and whistles will pull an even bigger audience.

Are there schools and parks nearby? – This is a polarizing feature. Buyers either want to be close to schools or don’t depending on their family composition. For those that do need a school nearby, it’s always best to be in a great school district.

Shopping and restaurants – Having a place to grab a bite to eat or a retailer around the corner is often a sign of economic prosperity in an area, especially when the stores and shops have larger brand names that you recognize.

Access to interstate or public transit – For those that drive to work or take the train, having easy access to travel options is a big selling factor for most buyers.

Ambiance – If you walk or drive the area, you will get a feel for the less tangible but still important vibe of the neighborhood. Do the neighbors seem friendly, do they take good care of the exterior of their homes, do they drive cautiously around the streets, what kinds of activities are there to do in the area? These are things that you will have to feel out for your personal preference.

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