Finding the Right Neighborhood
The neighborhood you choose is a prime factor in how good an investment your home turns out to be. You already know how much you can afford to spend on a home. Start your search for a house by finding a neighborhood you like that has homes in your price range.
Setting Your Own Neighborhood Standards
Here is a list of things about a neighborhood that may be important to you:
- General safety and desirability
- Condition of other homes in the area
- Quality of local schools
- Distance from your job
- Availability of public transportation
- Recreational activities, parks and playgrounds
- Easy access to shopping
- Places of worship
Get to know neighborhoods, using the Neighborhood Checklist. Go back to the area at different times of day to get a better sense for it. Visit the neighborhood at night. If you are not comfortable looking at homes there at night, reconsider purchasing a house in the neighborhood. Visit the police station and get crime statistics. This is public information available to you.
To check out the local schools, visit them during the school day. Do they appear to be under control? Does a school look fresh and feel interesting? To find out what the property tax rate is in an area, call the tax assessor’s office (listed in the phone book) or ask a real estate agent. Meet with your spouse, children, parents and other members of your family to make a list of neighborhood qualities that are important to all of the different people who live in your household.