How To Choose The Right Neighborhood When Buying A Home

Posted by Jennifer Dollar on Friday, October 18th, 2013 at 2:10pm

Choosing the right neighborhood when you are buying a home is almost as important as buying the right home.  The neighborhood can affect your happiness and peace of mind more than you might realize, so take some time to check it out before you make any final decisions.  The right neighborhood can sweeten the deal when you are looking at homes for sale or it can make those homes seem a lot less appealing.neighborhood_400

Identify What You Want

You probably know a lot of what you want in a neighborhood, so make a list of everything that you want it to have from its appearance to its location to what you want the neighbors to be like.  You can check out the number of children in the neighborhood and their ages if you want your children to be able to make friends nearby, and you can investigate the local school systems if you'll need them, as well. 

You can check out the neighborhood's proximity to work, grocery stores, the nightlife, and anything else that you want to be close to.  If you like walking to get where you're going, you can see what is in walking distance.  You can look at the types of homes, the property values, and how tight knit or standoffish the neighbors are.  Make sure that the neighborhood you choose has everything you need before you spend too much time looking at homes for sale there.

Identify What You Don't Want

On the flip side of this equation, you can look for what you don't want.  Some neighborhoods are noisy at night, and you may be hoping to avoid that.  Or you may be wishing to avoid the college crowd, so you might want to steer clear of areas where a lot of college kids live.  Think about what you really don't want in a neighborhood before you think about buying a home, and avoid it like the plague.

Ask People About The Neighborhood

Next, you want to ask people about the neighborhood.  You can ask people you know who are familiar with the area and the people who actually live there, too.  You can ask for general impressions or go right for specific questions about the neighborhood and any homes for sale in it as long as you can do it tactfully.  Most people love talking about what it is like to live where they live.  They will usually be eager to share what they love, and what they hate, about the neighborhood in which they live.

Spend Time In The Neighborhood

The best way to find out what a neighborhood is like is to spend time in it.  You will have to spend time in a neighborhood on different days and at different times to get a complete picture of what it is like, but it will be well worth the effort whether you end up buying a home there or not.  You will be living in the neighborhood just as you are living in the house, so make sure that both are the right choice for you.

This is how you choose a neighborhood that you will love to live in.  Know what you want and what you don't want, and then go after what you want and avoid what you don't want.  It's as simple as that.

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