Guarantee Your Property Value
Choosing the right neighbourhood will ensure that when the time comes to sell, the property value of your home will have increased not decreased! Neighbourhoods are sought after, not a specific house. That’s why a good neighbourhood maintains a healthy demand of buyers. Choosing a good neighbourhood to live in likely means you’ll also have good neighbours. They go hand in hand.
Here are some of the things to look for when choosing your neighbourhood.
Neighbourhoods Need to be Safe & Secure
Get a visual of the neighbourhoods you think you want to live in. Are people active outside of their homes without appearing nervous about their surroundings? Does there seem to be an alarming number of Beware of Dog signs or bars on accessible windows? Are there signs of vandalism like graffiti? Contact the local police to get an indication of the crime rate in the neighbourhood compared to others. Neighbourhoods that are safe encourage residents to be more active within the community, building stronger bonds between neighbours.
Pride of Ownership
Regardless of the economic status of individuals living within neighbourhoods, the appearance of the yards and exterior of the home will tell you a lot about the people that live there. Desirable conditions are well maintained homes with attention to having the grass cut, or sidewalks shovelled; tidy yards without the clutter of yard tools or fallen tree branches. There may even be noticeable renovations or additions to homes that suggest the neighbourhood is improving and growing. Look for signs that demonstrate that people that live there care about their homes.
Neighbourhood Schools and Green Space
If you have children that attend school, you will no doubt be concerned about how far your children will need to travel to get to school, and what type of transportation is available. You will want to perhaps review what the school has to say about itself on the internet to get a sense of the quality of the school, or even interview the Principal. Visually, the school should appear well kept. Students of this school will likely be friends of your children, and their parents will often belong to your neighbourhood.
Are there parks in the neighbourhood, and if so are they being well maintained? Visit the neighbourhoods you are evaluating on different days or times to get a sense of the level of activity in the park or green spaces, the streets, and any local convenience stores or other commercial establishments.
Ask yourself what amenities are important to you and how close they need to be. Consider grocery shopping, convenience stores, shopping malls, theatres, restaurants or golf. Are there amenities that you know reflect poorly on the neighbourhood, like pool halls, unsightly bars or video arcades?
With fuel costs and environment concerns, commuting to work should be considered. Is there a good public transit to/from the neighbourhood you are evaluating? Check out main roads and access points to the neighbourhoods particularly during peak hours of travel. Is their easy access to the neighbourhoods?
Future of Neighbourhoods
Where is the neighbourhood headed? Check with the Planning and Development Department of the City. Is there any significant planning that would upset the feel or condition of the neighbourhoods you have chosen, and perhaps reduce the property value? Is there any open commercial space in the neighbourhood that could be developed? Many Cities have information posted on the internet that will give the age and even income of the people that live within the neighbourhoods. Are the neighbourhoods aging or mature, new or upwardly mobile? This information will help you understand what kind of neighbours you will have and the potential of your property value and investment for the future.
Location Still Key to Investing Wisely
Pick the neighbourhood first, not the house. The most important investment decision that you can make when choosing your new home is WHERE. Once you have established neighbourhood choices, your evaluation of homes can begin. If you are still in the planning stages, visit the critical steps for home buyers. Before you buy, be sure you pay the RIGHT price by calculating your own property value using the simple Home Owners Market Evaluation Report (H.O.M.E.)