Five Steps To Selecting The Perfect Neighborhood

Are you trying to determine what neighborhood is right for you? The reality is that every neighborhood has a distinct look and “feel” to it, which means it is essential to take the time to find the one that suits your personal lifestyle and taste. While selecting the perfect neighborhood certainly is no small task, there are a few steps you should keep in mind in order to make certain you choose the one that is your perfect match.

Step #1: Determine What You Want

Before you even start looking at what is available, you need to have a good idea of the type of neighborhood you want to live in. Ultimately, the goal is to find a neighborhood that suits your lifestyle. Therefore, you should consider things such as:

*Do you have children or have plans to have children?

*What type of home are you interested in purchasing?

*How do you want to get to work and how long of a commute are you willing to have?

*Are you interested in a historic neighborhood or a new development?

*Do you want to be within walking distance of certain amenities?

*What things do you want and not want to be included in your neighborhood? (i.e. do you want to be in the center of all of the action or do you want a quiet retreat?)

Step #2: Determine the Right Area

Next, it is time to determine the basic geographic area where you would like your home to be located. While you may not be prepared to narrow your search down to a specific neighborhood, you should be able to determine which part of the town in which you wish to live.

Step #3: Start Gathering Information

With your search narrowed down to a specific area, you can now start researching information about the available neighborhoods. Some information you should be sure to research includes:

*School information

*Crime statistics

*Available parks and other recreation

*Available neighborhood associations

*Tourist attractions

Step #4: Start Making Visits

Next, it is time to start visiting the neighborhoods you have been researching. While making these visits, remember to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the neighborhood. Try to picture yourself living in the neighborhood in order to determine if you are a good fit. Remember to make your visits at various times of the day so you can be certain the neighborhood suits all of your needs. For example, while the neighborhood may be calm and peaceful during the day, making your commute during rush hour may be an absolute bear.

Step #5: Find the Perfect Home

Once you have found the neighborhood that is right for you, it is time to find the right house. When choosing the right home, consider how much you can afford to pay while also being certain to explore your loan options. In this way, you can be sure to get the home you want while staying within a budget you can afford.

There are two major reasons to check crime rates before you pick a real estate market to invest in: Tenants are more likely to move to and keep moving to a city where they feel safe. You don’t want to subject your rental investment property to a location where it is likely to get broken into, robbed, or vandalized. Although you will want to check crime rates again when looking into specific neighborhoods, it’s best to get an idea of the crime rate on the city-level. A city with a really high crime rate may have initially drawn you in with low property prices. And you might find that you have to cross it off your list now of potential real estate markets before looking into neighborhoods.