Questions to Ponder when Choosing Your Neighborhood

Over the last few months you’ve received a brief synopsis of 4 of 10 Steps to Successful Home Buying.

In this issue, we’d like to focus on step 5—choosing your neighbourhood-- in more detail. Why? Because identifying the neighbourhood you want to live in is a critical consideration for most buyers. According to a NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 79% of Buyers stated neighbourhood as their top priority in buying. Price came in at 71%.

So here are some questions you may want to consider when choosing a neighbourhood:

Is the neighbourhood stable, improving or declining?
If considering a home, do sales in the area support its price…or is the home more expensive?

What neighbourhood characteristics do you want most: close to work, schools, shopping, transportation and recreation or is proximity to friends and family more important?

What about zoning and land uses? If the neighbourhood has a mixed land use that includes commercial, what is the trend and how might this affect your lifestyle and future sale?

Have you considered driving and walking through the neighbourhood at a couple of different times of the day? What about asking a few homeowners about the neighbourhood: what they like and don’t like?

Does the neighbourhood have a friendly feel to it?

Are the homes and yards decently maintained?

What of the homes backing onto the house you inspected? Do they add to your backyard in a positive and appealing way or would a privacy fence be the only solution?

Are there any vacant or even abandoned homes on the street?

What about traffic? Is it particularly heavy and when?

What about taxes and municipal services?
Looking at a cheaper home in a good neighborhood? Factor in the cost of repairs or upgrades the house may need.

If there is a tavern close-by, how noisy will it be on the weekend nights?
Think of it this way. More than any other instance, the time before you make a decision on the home you buy is the time when you’ll have more say in the surroundings you’ll live in. So take the time to check out the neighbourhood.

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