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Looking For A New Home? It’s All About Location.
There are certain factors you should always consider when evaluating if the home you want to purchase is located in the best neighborhood for you and will hold its value.
You’ve likely heard that the three most important things when purchasing real estate are “location, location, location!” Even more important is what is the best location for you and your family. While searching for your next home, the neighborhoods you choose to look in can be just as important as the house you decide to live in. Depending on your lifestyle and needs, you may want to live closer or farther from establishments like schools, shopping centers, restaurants, hospitals, office buildings, and other cultural or city hubs. Generally, homes that are near popular locations are considered to be more desirable because of the convenience they provide, and are therefore more expensive.
On that note, you may also be thinking ahead to when you will eventually sell this home. You’ll be putting a lot of your hard earned money into purchasing, maintaining, and upgrading your home, so it’s only natural you would eventually want to profit on the sale of this house in the future. In other words, you at least want to get a good return on your investment. While there is no way to definitively predict how the real estate market will behave in the years to come, there are certain factors you can look for in your potential neighborhood that will make your home more appealing to potential buyers when you do decide to sell in the future. These are probably many of the same factors that sparked your interest in the first place! However, these factors are important to pay attention to because they could impact both your quality of life while living in the home and the future value of your property.
Consult the Comps:
If you are working with a qualified realtor, your agent should be able to pull comps, or comparisons, on the homes in your neighborhood of interest. The research your real estate agent does will tell you what similar homes in the neighborhood have sold for and help ensure you don’t end up paying too much for your house. While agents generally pull recent comps to negotiate current deals, they may also be able to help you find and understand historical comps so you can see how home values in the neighborhood have behaved over time. This will help you identify if home values are staying consistent or are shifting either higher or lower. While the neighborhood’s history doesn’t define the future, it can give some indication of what you might expect.
Even if you are looking in a brand new community with homes that have just been built, your realtor may still be able to provide information about how other homes in the neighborhood are selling. They may also be able to guide you to resources so you can learn more about the home’s builder so you can do some research on your own. For example, you may want to investigate if the building company has a reputation for quality or if previously built homes always seem to fall apart.
Research the School Districts:
If you have children, you’ll definitely want to research local school districts to ensure your kids receive a top notch education. Research things like any awards or certifications the schools have, student to teacher ratios, the type of curriculum being offered, standardized test scores, and the most recent rates of students that go on to pursue higher education. Make sure to look into both public and private schools, as well as what the daily commute would be for your child to get to and from school each day. Even if you don’t have kids now, choosing to live within a respected school district could garner better offers when it’s eventually time to sell as the location will be extra appealing to parents.
Proximity to Popular Locations:
Your proximity to entertainment, culture, city life, and office hubs could impact the desirability of your neighborhood and the value of your home. In the past, the homes that are closest to city hubs and office buildings were considered to be most desirable. However, that has changed a bit since more and more people are working remotely and don’t need to live in city centers in order to be successful. That said, still being close to places like popular restaurants, shopping centers, museums, movie theaters, and beaches is generally a good thing. Even homes that are 10 minutes closer to entertainment can see increases in value that homes 10 minutes farther do not in some states. People generally want to be able to easily access entertainment and conveniently run errands without being on the road for too long.
Research Future Development:
If you are evaluating a brand new community or a potentially up-and-coming neighborhood, you may want to look into future plans to expand or develop the area. For example, will there be new schools, shopping centers, medical centers, or offices being built in the next few years? While there is no guarantee, new development could turn the neighborhood in question into an extremely desirable neighborhood for new homebuyers in the future. In this scenario, you would have bought your home while prices were lower and then watched the value of your house skyrocket. In order to find out about development plants, ask your real estate agent for resources or reach out to your local Department of Planning.
Evaluate Neighborhood Maintenance:
When you find a home you like, make sure you consider the upkeep and wellbeing of the neighborhood as a whole. Take a drive or walk so you can look at how the other homes and yards are maintained. If the other homes have nice landscaping and look well cared for, it will bode well for your decision to join the neighborhood. But if the other houses are overrun with weeds and falling apart, you may want to take your search elsewhere. Remember that the value of other homes in the neighborhood could impact the value of your home when you decide to sell. Just like your agent will pull comps to help you make a reasonable offer on a house you want to buy, your realtor will also pull comps to help you choose the listing price for your home based on what similar homes in the area have sold for. If the homes sold for less because they weren’t well maintained, this could mean you miss out on potential profit.
Check Crime Statistics:
Take the initiative to look up crime rates in your neighborhood. While criminal activity can happen in even the friendliest of towns, looking up crime rates will give you an idea of the general safety of your neighborhood. It’s good for you to know about before you move in and to be aware that buyers in the future could also research the same crime rates while considering purchasing your home.
As a friendly reminder, there is no way to predict how the housing market will behave in the distant future. There is also no way to guarantee you will profit off the sale of your home in the future or that your neighborhood will become the next hot spot for home buyers. That said, doing your research to make sure you are becoming a resident of a desirable neighborhood can only help your home’s value. However, remember that you fell in love with your house and somebody else likely will, too. Make sure to prioritize choosing a home where you and your family will be happy because that’s what matters most. When you do decide to sell in the future, the right buyer will eventually come along who loves the house just as much as you did.
Learn more tips and tricks for buying or selling homes at the Dabl Real Estate Hub!