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Choosing the Right Neighborhood

Questions to ask when you are choosing your neighborhood

  1. How are you getting to work?
    When deciding on which neighborhood is right for you, it might be a good idea for you to figure out the distance between your potential neighborhood and your workplace. Then consider how much earlier you are willing to wake up every morning to get to work. How much traffic do you wish to endure? Would you rather take public transportation? Asking these types of questions may help you narrow down your search when choosing your neighborhood. You may find that homes within a suburban neighborhood may be cheaper, yet still impractical for your family because of its distance from your workplace. Play around with google maps to see what freeways or public transits are connecting your neighborhood to your job.
  2. Have you looked at the housing market in the neighborhood? Homebuyers should take a look at the housing market when choosing a neighborhood. It is always favorable for homebuyers if the housing market shows that there are more homes for sale in the area than there are buyers looking. A buyers market may indicate that the sellers are having a hard time getting rid of their homes; thus, it may be easier to negotiate a lower home price. Also, you might want to look into the neighborhoods price appreciation rate just to make sure that the value of your potential property has not been depreciating. You always want to make a lucrative investment.
  3. Where will your child be educated?
    If you are a parent, look to see what school districts are servicing your potential neighborhood. Are they award winning school districts or are they low-achieving schools with insufficient funds? Perhaps you can look into the standardized test scores of the students in the neighborhood as well. You might find it useful review the neighborhoods schools by looking up its District Overview which contains information such as student enrollment rates, expenditure per student, etc.
  4. Have you checked the neighborhood's crime rate?
    Homebuyers should find out the crime rate of the neighborhoods they are interested in, not just because it is nice to feel safe in your own home, but also because the local crime rate has an impact on the price of your homeowners insurance policy. Try to visit your potential neighborhood and look for indicators that may make the neighborhood undesirable to you (e.g. graffiti, trash, etc.).
  5. Is there too much "noise pollution"?
    Stop by the neighborhoods you are interested in at various times of the day. Check to see if the neighborhood is next to a noisy freeway or railway. Take the time to walk around and get to know your potential neighbors. If you are a sensitive sleeper, you might want to know if you are moving into an area known for its wild parties.
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