According to the National Association of REALTORS®, the median amount of time people tend to own a home is around nine years. Prior to 2008, homeowners stayed in their homes approximately six years before relocating. If you fall into this middle range, it makes perfect sense to research the neighborhoods you are considering before picking your next home. Nine years is a long time to live in a place especially if that place turns out to be less than perfect for you and/or your family.
Here is a look at several factors you should investigate before you select your next neighborhood.
While you can’t avoid crime entirely no matter where you choose to live, it would be nice to find an area that doesn’t have a lot of it. Check with the local police station to get an idea of the types of crimes in a particular neighborhood. You may also want to drive around the neighborhood during the night to determine how safe you are going to feel in a specific location.
Where to Park
Parking may not seem like a big deal, particularly if you only have one vehicle. However, situations may arise where additional parking can be advantageous. For example, if you plan to have parties, it would be nice to have additional parking spaces close to your home. Another point to consider is whether or not any restrictions are in play. For example, HOAs often restrict the type of vehicle you can park in your own driveway or limit the length of time your car can remain parked on the street. Eventually, your family may grow, and you may need extra parking spaces.
From supermarkets to parks to shopping malls, the number of amenities located nearby can influence how happy you are in your new neighborhood. Be sure to explore the area, taking note of places you may want to visit. If you are ambitious, you can also check the walkability score for each neighborhood you are considering.
Make sure that the neighborhood you are considering has easy access to services that you may need. Check out the local hospitals, schools, dentists, mechanics, religious facilities, police, and fire stations.
Unfortunately, some neighborhoods simply have more annoyances than others. If you aren’t a morning person, you may not want to choose a home close to a local school. Find out where the closest airport, fire station, bar, and skate park are located. The closer you are to these facilities, the more annoying the noise can become.
The Bottom Line
Buying a home can be an exciting time in your life. Taking a few minutes to investigate the neighborhoods you are looking at can ensure the excitement continues. Make sure that the neighborhood has all of the amenities and services you need, while also checking out the local crime rate. Once you are satisfied, it is time to begin looking at properties listed for sale.