Buying a home is known to be one of life’s most significant milestones.
In this regard, it is expectedly and at times, inevitably, one of the most difficult decisions you will ever make in your life. When it comes to scoping for a new home, factors such as your budget and location are pivotal in reaching a decision. However, when you are in the market for a new place to live, always remember the foremost and golden rule of real estate: You are not just buying a new home. You are buying into and becoming part of the new neighborhood as well. In this regard, you need to pay close attention to the kind of neighborhood your new and prospective home is in.
Bear in mind that neighborhoods play an integral role in home safety as well as personal happiness. Apart from ensuring the welfare of your family, a good neighborhood also fosters a safe community and may even encourage you to foster and cultivate good relationships with your neighborhood. In this regard, you and your family will likely spend more time enjoying the outdoors with your neighbors rather than keeping to yourselves at home. In this regard, choosing a neighborhood should be given just as much importance as choosing an ideal neighborhood to live. While certain things such as barred windows, graffiti on walls, broken streetlights and abandoned restaurants are all telltale signs of a bad neighborhood. These are things you should avid as a homebuyer. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to determine whether a neighborhood is safe or dangerous. Incidentally, you should be aware by now that neighborhoods are not created equal and that there is no such thing as a perfect neighborhood. Everyone’s needs vary greatly and an ideal neighborhood is greatly dependent on those. Cookie-cutter neighborhoods, albeit idyllic, are non-existent. But while cookie-cutter neighborhoods are not a reality, there are certain components common to all great neighborhoods.
Here are some of them:
1.) Lifestyle match
Think of where you are in life right now and try to put that up against your prospective neighborhood. Does it match? Then if it does then good for you. A great neighborhood should be one in sync with your current lifestyle. Bear in mind that homebuyers tend to gravitate to areas with similar demographics. As an example, gated suburban neighborhoods may sound appealing but it might not be the right fit for a young and single professional. In the same vein, a family with four children would not likely enjoy the cramped space in a condominium in the midst of a busy city.
2.) Nearby employment opportunities
Another cardinal sign of a good neighborhood is one that is close to employment opportunities such as airports, hospitals and various offices. However, bear in mind that if major businesses intend to expand near an improving neighborhood, you can expect home prices to likely increase.
3.) Low crime rate
Your safety and welfare should be at the top of your priorities. With this in mind, you need to choose a neighborhood that is first and foremost, a safe one. Low crime rates give a neighborhood a sense of ease and calm where you can sleep well at night knowing that you are in good hands. Considering that both safety and security are two paramount concerns, crime is a good indicator of whether a neighborhood is improving or not. You can spot a transitional and improving neighborhood by the decline or improvement of its crime rates.
4.) Pride in ownership
Pride in ownership is something all great and ideal neighborhoods have in common. It is immediately noticeable from the way the residents care for their homes. Are their lawns properly maintained? Do their homes look well-cared for? Moreover, do neighborhoods participate and connect? Do they create local groups that aim to bring the residents together in order to make the neighborhood better? If your answers are affirmative then this is a neighborhood that affords you pride in ownership.
5.) Access to medical care
Ensuring that you have immediate access to hospices and clinics is imperative to ALL residents. However, this is even more important for retirees and seniors who are looking for the best place to retire and for families with young children. Living near a hospital gives you that peace of mind that should anything go awry, you can easily transport yourself or your family members to the nearest care center without having to plow through traffic.
6.) Family friendly
A family friendly neighborhood appeals not only to the residents with children but those who are young and single professionals as well. It is a real draw for every type of buyer as it is indicative of a safe neighborhood. More importantly, should a family with children decide on a place to live, it should be one with opportunities for children to play, socialize and most importantly, make friends. Incidentally, this allows for homeowners’ children to carpool and join other children’s programs.
7.) Close to public transportation
Access to public transportation is a huge draw for potential homeowners and a cardinal sign of a good neighborhood. In fact, it is considered as a highly sought-after amenity for almost any lifestyle. Regardless of whether you are a commuting individual or a retiree who just wishes to keep the car at home, having a public transit that is close enough to home is an instant upgrade to any neighborhood that would surely make an ideal place to live.
While access to public transport is an excellent addition to any neighborhood, being able to leave the car keys home and walk around your neighborhood is so much better. If you have everything within proximity–from restaurants, markets, schools and even workplaces, you can definitely save up by a lot on gas. Incidentally, it prevents incidents of road rage as you no longer need to negotiate the roads and drive through traffic. Indeed, living in a walkable neighborhood is something that would make where you live truly great.