You love the house. It checks most of the boxes on your wish list, and the price fits your budget. With mortgage pre-approval, you are ready to start the closing process. Before you hand over the down payment or sign any agreements, take a look at the neighborhood. Do you see yourself becoming part of the community?
If you don’t love the neighborhood, you may want to rethink buying the house.
What Makes the Perfect Neighborhood
What makes a neighborhood an ideal place to live is different for everyone. Families look for a community with a top-rated school system. Singles may put nearby entertainment venues at the top of their must-have list.
While individuals look for different things in a neighborhood, there are some aspects most people want in a community.
Even gated communities have occasional crime, but you don’t want to live in a neighborhood where it’s a common occurrence. Local law enforcement, news, and city websites typically list crime stats by neighborhood. It’s a good way to get an idea of the neighborhood’s safety.
Look for street lighting. Neighborhoods with ample lighting tend to have lower crime rates. Some communities have Neighborhood Watch programs, which adds another layer of security to the area.
It doesn’t matter if the neighborhood is rural or centrally located, access to highways and major roads is something to consider.
Think about your daily commute. How easy is it to access connecting roads? If living in the neighborhood adds a lot of time to your commute, you may regret buying the house.
Outdoor Green Spaces and Walking Paths
Most neighborhoods are planned with green spaces for residents’ use. These can include parks and even manmade lakes. Take a drive around the neighborhood and see what it has to offer.
Are there sidewalks for pedestrians? What about bike lanes or do cyclists ride alongside automobiles?
Pet owners may want to see if there’s a nearby dog park. If you enjoy long walks in nature, check to see if the neighborhood parks and green spaces have dedicated paths.
You may love your new home, but you don’t want to spend all of your time in the house. Homeowners that enjoy going out will want to have entertainment options close by.
The type of entertainment depends on what you love to do. Golfers will want a neighborhood with a course or driving range. If you love going to the movies and shows, look for a community that has a theater.
Restaurants and Coffee
Even home enthusiastic coffee brewers like grabbing a cup at a local café. Coffee shops are also a great way to meet and bond with your new neighbors.
Along with coffee shops, don’t forget about restaurants. Locally-owned restaurants are often hidden gems waiting for you to discover.
Shopping and Healthcare
Even if you rely on home deliveries, there is always something you need from the store. You don’t want to drive miles for an item, you want it accessible in your neighborhood.
It also applies to drug stores, doctor’s offices, and hospitals.
Make Sure It’s Your Dream Neighborhood
The surrounding community and house go together. You are stuck with the neighborhood the house is in.
If you aren’t happy with your home’s location, it’s not the right house.
When you find a house you like, research the neighborhood. If it fits your lifestyle, put a bid in on your dream home.