How to Choose the Right Community for Your New Home

Choosing the right community is just as important as choosing the right home. Follow these steps to make sure your next neighborhood is a good fit for you and your family.


Establish Priorities

Before you fall in love with a home or a specific neighborhood, establish your priorities. How much can you spend? How much space do you need? Is a yard essential? How far are you willing to commute?

Ask yourself what you love and hate about your current area. Are there things you aren’t willing to give up? Maybe you love the local summer concerts or you like being able to walk to the grocery store. Is there something you hate and can’t wait to get away from? Maybe you can’t stand the road noise or you want a more scenic view.

Set your priorities before you look for neighborhoods. It will simplify your decisions and save you time.

Research

Once you’ve set your priorities, research prospective neighborhoods. Here are a few things to investigate:

What is the crime rate?

Check to see if the area you are considering is prone to burglaries or violent crime. While you are checking crime rates, check for registered sex offenders in the area. If you have children, this is a big concern. Even if you don’t have children, living in a crime ridden area, or near a sex offender will hurt your home’s resale value.

Are the schools highly ranked?

If you have children, you want the best for them and you know that a solid education is essential. If you aren’t a parent, remember that quality schools add value to a neighborhood and a home.

Is there a Homeowner’s Association?

HOAs can protect your property value and add convenient amenities, but you should make sure that the rules and regulations suit your lifestyle. There may be rules about pets, paint colors, fence heights, or utility providers. Make sure the regulations will be a benefit and not a hassle before you emotionally invest in an area.


Explore

After you’ve set your priorities and done your research, go spend some time in the community you are considering. Make time for the following things:

  • Spend time in the area during the day and in the evening. Make sure you love the area just as much on a bustling Friday night as on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
  • Take a walk through the neighborhood. Are people friendly? Are other homes abandoned? Are there strange smells? Are yards well maintained?
  • Try out your commute. How long does it take to get to work during rush hour? Are schools nearby? Will you have to drive far away every time you want entertainment?
  • Visit the grocery store, local restaurants, and parks. Do you like the amenities, culture, and people?

After you establish priorities, research neighborhoods, and explore communities, you will be prepared to make a commitment to a community for years to come.

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