The neighborhood you choose can have a big impact on your
lifestylesafety, available amenities, and convenience all play their part.
- Make a
list of the activitiesmovies, health club, churchyou engage in regularly
and stores you visit frequently. See how far you would have to travel from
each neighborhood you're considering to engaging in your most common
out the school district. The Department of Education in your town can
probably provide information on test scores, class size, percentage of
students who attend college, and special enrichment programs. If you have
school-age children, also consider paying a visit to schools in the
neighborhoods you're considering. Even if you don't have children, a house
in a good school district will be easier to sell in the future.
out if the neighborhood is safe. Ask the police department for
neighborhood crime statistics. Consider not only the number of crimes but
also the typeburglaries, armed robberiesand the trend of increasing or
decreasing crime. Also, is crime centered in only one part of the
neighborhood, such as near a retail area?
if the neighborhood is economically stable. Check with your local city
economic development office to see if income and property values in the
neighborhood are stable or rising. What is the percentage of homes to
apartments? Apartments don't necessarily diminish value, but they do mean
a more transient population. Do you see vacant businesses or homes that
have been for sale for months?
- See if
you'll make money. Ask a local REALTOR
or call the local REALTORassociation to get
information about price appreciation trends in the neighborhood. Although
past performance is no guarantee of future results, this information may
give you a sense of how good an investment your home will be. A REALTOR
or the government planning agency also may be able to tell you about
planned developments or other changes in the neighborhoodlike a new
school or highwaythat might affect value.
for yourself. Once you've narrowed your focus to two or three
neighborhoods, go there, and walk around. Are homes tidy and well
maintained? Are streets quiet? Pick a warm day if you can and chat with
people working or playing outside. Are they friendly? Are their children
to play with your family?