After what might feel like an eternity searching, you’ve found the perfect house. Everything about it is tailor-made for your family—a generous layout, ample storage space, and just the right sized yard. Keep in mind, however, that you aren’t just moving into the house—you’re also moving into the neighborhood it’s situated in. So before you submit your offer, make sure you ask the following questions about your potential new neighborhood:
- Does it fit my lifestyle? Living in the suburbs has its perks, but what if you’re the sort of person that enjoys the nightlife? You won’t find much to do several miles from downtown, and you may not want to drive out of your way every time you want to grab a drink with friends. Conversely, a downtown home might not be near the ideal school district, which can be a huge factor if you’re raising young ones. Once you’ve figured out if the neighborhood you’re looking into reflects your lifestyle, take a look at its crime rates to make sure it’s safe.
- Is it convenient? Life isn’t all play. Keep in mind where your new home would be in relation to your daily commute, necessity stores, and services like banks or gas stations. You may be surprised how much a lack of convenience an affect your quality of life. No matter how good a home is, it won’t feel like a win if you’re spending so many extra hours tracking down a decent grocery store.
- How will it change? Neighborhoods aren’t static. With people moving in and out, businesses rising and falling, and the inevitable expansion and reorganization of urban areas, there are countless opportunities for any neighborhood to change. With a little research, you can find some of the changes that are coming to a specific neighborhood. Something as simple as a new stoplight can significantly alter traffic flow near your new home, which may be disruptive or unsafe for kids. On the flipside, a new shopping center nearby may alter some convenience issues the neighborhood currently faces. Take all the potentials into consideration before laying your money down.
- Are there regulations? Some areas have homeowners associations that limit aesthetic and functional changes to homes in the area, in order to preserve the overall real estate value and quality of life in the neighborhood. Make sure you’re aware of any regulations and are able to be compliant with them before committing to moving in.
Make sure your real estate agent knows what you’re looking for in a neighborhood. They can help narrow down the options to a home that works for you in an area that suits your lifestyle and specific needs.