You’ve decided to buy a house.
Before you get ahead of yourself you’ll want to do some research on the neighborhoods you’re considering.
When buying a new home, the property itself plays a huge factor in your final decision. However, you have to take into account the neighborhood and make sure it meets your standards.
A good neighborhood not only can foster a community for you and your family, but also affect the resale value of your home. So, proper research is critical.
Parking and Public Transport
The importance of parking in the neighborhood is often forgotten. Of course, you consider where you’ll park your car but what about guests.
Does the community offer enough guest parking spots if not is the ample street parking nearby?
In addition to parking, if you commute to DC you’ll want to determine how far the nearest metro station or commuter bus stops are, especially when you rely solely on them.
If you ask any real estate agent on what’s the number one priority for most buyers they’ll usually have the same answer; LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.
Noise has a significant impact on the home’s value. Trains, traffic, highways, nearby stadiums, busy city streets make one neighborhood noisier than another. You want to factor these things before purchasing a home.
Sometimes buying a home in an area with more noise pollution may afford you the opportunity to save a little money. Just be sure you can deal with the noise before placing an offer. If a house is near a metro line or train tracks I recommend more than one visit before making a decision. Ideally, you’ll like to hear the train pass to see how much disruption it may cause when you’re inside.
Crime and Safety Stats
The safety of a neighborhood should be on every homebuyers list. You want to make sure the new area you’re moving into is safe for you and your family.
Check online records such as CrimeReports and Spotcrime or contact the local authorities about the crimes in the area. The information given will likely include a list of the crimes, complete breakdown of dates and types of crimes committed in the area.
Compare the information to other neighborhood to see which one has the lowest crime rates.
Whether you have kids or not, consider researching area schools. Areas with better schools usually have higher home values.
However, if you’re a parent, you can begin by looking at the school’s website or ask the local district to provide you with records of test scores, class size, college passing rate, and their enrichment programs.
Number of Homes Sold
Fewer people and vacant properties attract an appealing element and could lead to the downturn in the market.
Appreciation Value Over Time
Buying a home is one of the most significant financial investment you’ll make in your life. Make sure you’re doing your due diligence before committing. The number of homes sold can be a good indication of the overall security of the neighborhood.
If the neighborhood you’re interested in has a steady increase, it’s more likely that your home’s value will increase over time. Ask your real estate agent about this information to see how the sale prices changed.
Having a perfect neighborhood is somewhat impossible unless you’re buying a home in the most luxurious area. You have to set realistic expectations and compromise.
Are you thinking about buying a home soon? Check out our Steps to Buying a Home Guide. Feel free to give me a call at 703-539-2053 or email [email protected] to schedule a private showing of this or any other property.
About the Author
The above article was written by Abraham Walker, Your Northern Virginia Real Estate Agent, helping clients market their homes to achieve high sales with a quick closing time is my main priority. He’s the co-founder of Ask A Walker and can be found on YouTube, Facebook, and HERE on this blog.