Tips for Finding the Perfect Neighborhood
The neighborhood you choose can have a big impact on your lifestyle—safety, available amenities, and convenience all play their part.
Make a list of the activities—movies, health club, church-- you 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 activities.
Check 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. Another source is www.scorecard.org
Find out if the neighborhood is safe. Ask the police department for neighborhood crime statistics. Consider not only the number of crimes but also the type—burglaries, armed robberies—and the trend of increasing or decreasing crime. Also, is crime centered in only one part of the neighborhood, such as near a retail area? Another source is www.homestore.com
Determine 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 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 REALTOR® Association 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 may also be able to tell you about planned developments or other changes in the neighborhood—like a new school or highway—that might affect value.
See 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?
Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine Online by permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Copyright / All rights reserved.
If you are a renter and NOT working with an agent, please complete the form below for a list of properties.
If you are a buyer, please submit your "wish list" of must-haves.
If you are a seller, your address is sufficient for me to pull closed sale comparables.
If you are a Housing Choice or subsidized housing participant, please enter your expected move in date, your Housing Authority, your voucher size, the voucher expiration date, TTP or S8/Rent Burden figures. I will then send you a list of available rental properties, photos and qualifications. Upon receipt of your selections, I will coordinate showing dates/times.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to the overwhelming demand for rentals, we can not hold a home without a refundable good faith deposit. I am a Realtor® not a scam artist. I will not lose my license over your refundable good faith deposit. Once you are approved, I bring the deposit to your move-in and perform a walk-through with the owner/agent. If you are denied, we can apply your deposit to your next choice OR holding Broker will refund it. If you do not want to secure your deal, I can not help you. No one is holding homes in this HOT marketplace with just your voucher. Trust me. Not happening. I am getting several offers overnight on listings.