You may have decided the size of house you want, the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and how much you want to pay. But where do you want it to be located? If you haven’t decided on which neighborhood you want to live in, use these tips to make a smart choice.
Consider Your Preferences
Narrow down your choices by thinking about how your family lives. Where do you work? What do you like to do on the weekends? If you love the city, neighborhoods in the thick of things may be your vibe. But if you like peace and quiet, a nice suburban area might fit you better.
Once you have a few places in mind, the following research will help you reach a good decision.
Observe the Area
Drive through your targeted neighborhoods at different times during the day and evening. Notice what’s going on. Are people in their yards or walking around? Does it seem animal-friendly? Do you see plenty of kids? These observations will give you a good feel of what it would be like to live there.
Cruise Online Communities
Some neighborhoods have Facebook and other online pages. Look them up and see what the residents are talking about. Do they seem nice and relatable? Or are they rude and argumentative? The attitudes you see online will most likely carry over into real life if these people become your neighbors.
Look at Crime Mapping
Safety is a high priority anytime you’re moving to a new place. You can find several crime mapping services with a simple online search. These websites tell you the number (and sometimes types) of crimes committed in the area. If the neighborhood you’ve been thinking about has high instances of crime, you may need to re-think your choice.
Research the Schools
If you have kids, the schools will be a key factor in deciding where you want to live. Good public schools are big advantages for families. You also need to think about whether your children can walk or ride the bus. Knowing about the area schools gives you insight into whether a property will fit your family’s needs.
Ask Your Real Estate Agent
Your mortgage loan company may be able to recommend an experienced real estate agent who knows the ins and outs of the neighborhoods they cover. When you start working with an agent, lay out your short list of neighborhoods and have them give you their honest opinions. They may know important things, good or bad, about the areas you’ve chosen that will be essential in making your decision.
Finding the right neighborhood to buy a house takes a little time and research. Ending up in a safe home with nice neighbors and good schools is worth some effort on the front end. When you’re in doubt, trust your real estate agent to guide you in the right direction.
At Mortgage Investors Group, we are committed to helping families fulfill their dreams of homeownership all across the Southeast. Our team of advisers and home loan officers have dedicated resources to assist you in closing on the home that fits your search criteria.