While the “perfect” neighborhood might not exist, there’s a lot of ways to find one that has the perfect combination of what you and your family need! Here’s a few ways we strategize to find a great neighborhood and judge whether it’s an area worth house shopping in.
- Prioritize what you really want. No location has it all. Having a list of what are needs, and what are wants, can really help you evaluate whether a home is in the best neighborhood for you.
- Look up tax rates. One neighborhood could be only 5 minutes difference from another, but the tax rates can change dramatically.
- What’s the school district? If you have kids, this is a big one. Knowing that your kids have a great school to go to in the area can drastically change how you view a possible home. And the quality of school districts can vary greatly by moving just a few miles. If a school district is large, check out the houses both in the heart of it and on the edges – sometimes a great house can be on the outskirts of the school district, keeping your child in a great school but often cutting the price of the home.
- Look at your commute. Drive time and access to where you will be regularly is definitely something to consider when you’re picking the best neighborhood for your daily life.
- Safety is key. And something that can be hard to determine if you’re not from the area. You can use online sources to check how safe an neighborhood is, such as city-data.com.
- Put your feet on the ground! If possible, go walk around the neighborhood! See how people interact with each other. How the streets feel. Are there other families with kids? Do the houses look well kept? What’s nearby? Nothing beats seeing a neighborhood first hand.
Picking a neighborhood is a big deal, but it’s not really hard once you know what you’re looking for and what your budget is. If you don’t have you budget figured out, check out a few good tips to get started here! And as always, feel free to give us a call. We’d love to help.
The Christian Mortgage Mom