Need help finding the right neighborhood for your next home? The old saying goes, “The first three rules of a successful real estate purchase are location, location, location.”
Below are five factors that should be at the top of any decision-making process where choosing the right community is a priority:
1. Top Quality Schools
Even if you don’t have children at home, the curriculum quality of the schools in your specific neighborhood should be high on the priority list. That’s because average property values are usually higher in areas with high-scoring school districts.
In socioeconomic terms, good schools = a more desirable community.
Homes in a good school district should appreciate higher and faster than similar-sized properties in other areas where the schools do not fare as well.
This appreciation in value can be converted into future equity, meaning you may realize a significant profit increase when you sell the property.
2. Rising Property Values
Independent of school quality, you should always look at local trends in home prices to get insight into that neighborhood’s future. Start by searching local county property records online or referencing a site like Zillow that may help give you an idea of property value trends for a particular community.
If property values have been falling for several years, resident home sellers will likely face difficulty when reselling the same property in the future.
It’s best to look for new and upcoming communities where neighborhood home prices are trending upward.
3. Less Road Traffic
Heavy road construction and constant traffic may not seem bad now, but your pocketbook may disagree in five to ten years.
In addition to excess noise, anxiety, and poor commute times – road congestion can carry health and safety implications concerning increased air pollution and auto accidents.
If you’re buying a home, you will likely live there for a while.
Better to take your time and get the neighborhood right the first time, or you may be planning another move sooner than you think.
4. Quick Access to Great Emergency and Medical Services
You must know that emergency respondents can reach you quickly in a medical emergency.
It’s one thing to live close to a hospital and something different to be close to a great hospital. The difference could mean life or death for you and your family.
Where at all possible, concentrate on communities located near research or university-type hospitals. These medical facilities tend to have more modern medical equipment, a more extensive resident staff, and access to additional life-saving resources.
5. Reported Crime and Local Statistics
Looks can be deceiving, and it is often too late to change your mind about living in a particular area – especially after your first mortgage payment.
Information on local crime rates and the most common types of Crime are readily available from any local police department. Some web portals like Crime Reports aggregate data from several local sources to provide neighborhood-level crime reports and statistics.
Never rely on outward appearances alone when evaluating any particular community or neighborhood’s potential safety and security details.
Keeping these five factors at the top of your mind when choosing your next new home’s neighborhood, you’ll likely receive a good return on your investment in time, money, and satisfaction.