Last week we brought up the idea that many first time home buyers are thinking about neighborhoods just as much as home design when they go out to look at homes.
The first step was to imagine what your dream neighborhood would look like. Today we’re going to be talking about how you can actually find out if a neighborhood would be a good fit for you.
1. Look at Public Services: With property taxes falling, many towns and cities are having to cut back on the public services they offer.
WHAT CAN YOU DO? Drive through a potential neighborhood, and then through the town, and look carefully for clues that the city is having financial trouble. Are the streets clean? Are the parks in good condition? Is the grass cut?
2. Look at Schools: If you have kids, then the quality of local schools is a huge issue. Even if you don’t have children or plan on teaching a homeschool curriculum, schools still matter simply because when it comes time to sell, your buyers will likely have kids.
WHAT CAN YOU DO? Research the local schools using sites like GreatSchools.org. It can also be helpful to attend a PTA meeting to talk with local parents. They’ll tell you candidly how well (or badly) the schools are doing, and if they’re having budget troubles as well.
3. Examine Clues: A great detective always looks around for clues to help him build a big picture.
WHAT CAN YOU DO? Picture yourself in the neighborhood. Go through your daily routine to make sure you’ll still have the same quality of life. For instance, if you run every morning, are the roads safe enough for your morning jog? If you bike to work, are there bike lanes for you to use?
4. Talk to People: Remember, you can always make home improvements to your house if there’s something you don’t like. But changing your neighborhood? It’s not so easy.
WHAT CAN YOU DO? Talk to your potential neighbors. Find out how they like living there and what they’re like.
The best way to find great deals on homes is to take a tour of 5 to 6 homes in the area you are searching in. Not only will you find older listings that are easier to negotiate on but you will also become a market expert at the same time.
As you see more and more homes you will realize what kind of homes are available for the price points you are looking at.
To schedule a tour like this visit our Contact Page and send me an email or give me a call! I look forward to working with you.
Because of the many legal and tax situations that can arise through the sale and purchase of real estate ALWAYS consult with your ATTORNEY or ACCOUNTANT before making ANY decisions in ANY transaction.
* THIS ARTICLE WAS POSTED AT Thomas Feng’s Bay Area Real Estate Blog *