Last week, we talked about homes. This week we are going to talk about neighborhoods because home also includes the space around it. How many times have you said, “I wish I could take this house and move it to (fill in the blank)? If you’ve spent much time looking at houses, you know what we mean.
So, as important as the structure of the house is, the neighborhood is equally important. Today, we are sharing some tips for finding your best neighborhood.
1. Dream. What does your perfect neighborhood look like? Make a list of features you would like to have in your new neighborhood. A significant reason that many people move is because they don’t like their neighborhoods. If this is your situation, perhaps the best place to begin is with those things you don’t like about your current neighborhood. However, if your neighborhood is great and you’re only moving because of the job, you already have an idea about what you want in your new neighborhood.
2. Check environmental records and crime reports. We all want our homes to be safe. If you are really concerned about the land your future home is situated on, you can check the parcel with the county records office or do some online research. None of us wants to live on a former landfill or polluted lot. One site—http://www.historicaerials.com —has historical aerial photographs, so you can actually see the lot as it was in the past. What you’ll find out about your particular site varies and depends on how far back the photographs reach.
If your concern is about crime, check with the local police or sheriff’s department. While no community is immune to crime, you can find out where most of the serious crimes have taken place. Most departments have websites, and many are on social media, as well. Also, start reading your future city’s newspaper; most have a certain amount of information available for free.
3. Schools and work. Ideally, your perfect neighborhood will be near your choice in schools and your work. Sometimes, parents must sacrifice a home near work to position their children in the schools they desire. Another consideration is the direction you drive to reach school and work. A Feng Shui principle that makes good sense is to choose a home located east of your morning destinations. That way, you start your morning commute driving west and then drive east in the evening. The sun is behind you both going to and coming home from work, making your commute safer and more pleasant.
4. Amenities. Different people have different forms of recreation, so while one family must have access to a pool, another family might prefer a home on a golf course or in a tennis community. Assess your family’s hobbies and likes. Also consider your neighbors. Are they mostly retirees? Young families? Think about who you would like to socialize with and consider this in your choice, as well.
5. Find a realtor. Don’t just go with any realtor. Ideally, you should go with an agency that offers a relocation department. These departments are very familiar with the agency’s realtors and can recommend a few who are a good fit for your needs based on your personality, your housing needs, and your purchasing goals. Your realtor should take time to get to know you, not just show you houses.
At Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Executive Partners, we do more than just show houses. We build relationships with our clients. Yes, we sell houses for a living, but our goal is to make your dreams come true, at least when it comes to your home. We believe more informed clients are more likely to make good decisions and to be happy in their new homes. So to help inform you about neighborhoods in our area, our future blogs will give you lots information about our different neighborhoods to help you become more informed.