If you are in the market for buying a home, there is more to it than just finding a home that has the right number of bedrooms, bathrooms and other amenities you are looking for. You will want to consider finding the right neighborhood as well. Where you live is important as there are quite a few factors to consider when it comes to finding the right neighborhood for you.
City, Suburban or Rural Living
Many real estate agents say, "Location, location, location is the most important aspect of a home." You must first decide where you want your home to be. You must decide whether you want to live in a neighborhood in the city, suburbs or in a more rural area further out in the country.
New or Existing Homes
You will also need to decide whether you want to live in a new construction neighborhood or a neighborhood that is fully built with existing homes in it. The age of the home you buy matters. Homes in new construction neighborhoods have warranties on the new construction and appliances. You will not need to worry about repairs for at least a few years. Older homes may have older structures, systems, appliances that may be in need of repairs or replacements. Take into consideration these repairs and replacements can be costly. If your finances are stretched, you may want to steer clear from a neighborhood/home that needs a lot of money for renovations or improvements.
Schools with Certain Ratings
If school ratings are important to you, be sure to do research. What someone else considers good schools may not be good schools in your opinion. It is important to do your own research and not to ask your real estate agent. Real estate agents are really not supposed to give you advice if you ask them to show you homes in a "good neighborhood" or a "neighborhood with good schools." If they do, it may be considered "steering" which is illegal. Websites such as Greatschools.org include a significant amount of information on schools in an area including parent comments/ratings, test scores and more.
Proximity to Certain Places or Establishments
Another consideration in finding the right neighborhood for you is the proximity of the home you buy to places such as work, stores, restaurants, other establishments and even certain people (i.e. family, friends, etc.). For example, it may be important to someone who does not have car to be close to stores, restaurants and other places they need to get to on a daily or weekly basis.
Another example is having a medical condition within the family where you need to be near a medical facility. Another example is a person who needs to live in close proximity to a family member. Many elderly people are aging "in place" or at home. If you have a parent that lives alone and is aging in place, you may wish to purchase a home in a nearby neighborhood.
Not to be forgotten in finding the right neighborhood for you is the home value. Consult your real estate agent to be sure the values of the homes in the neighborhood you choose are increasing or at least keeping up with the current market.
Finding the right neighborhood is an important part of your home purchase journey. Everyone has different considerations when it comes to finding the right neighborhood for their family. You will need to keep these considerations in mind during your home search.