Do it yourself (DIY) is becoming quite common, especially when buying a house. Whether you are seeking a bargain or have a long list of requirements for your new home, there are a few things to
Which Neighborhood Would You Choose
"Location, location, location." You've heard the phrase a thousand times when it comes to real estate and it couldn't be more true. Choosing the right neighborhood can be just as important if not more so than choosing the right home. Whether you are already a local or new to the area in which you wish to move it pays to do your research ahead of time. There are many aspects to consider when searching for the perfect location. Here I have broken down the process into four basic steps.
The first step in finding the right neighborhood is to understand what makes a neighborhood right for you. The list below is a great place to start when forming your wish list. It is certainly not a complete list as everyone is different and there are countless factors that may affect someone's overall experience in a neighborhood. It may also be helpful to think about what you like or dislike about where you currently live. Once you have a completed list you will want to arrange it based on level of importance. What are your absolute must-haves and what are your would-like-to-haves?
Building Your Wish List
If you have kids or want kids is the area child-friendly?
What are the schools like?
Is the area safe?
How close do you need to be to work?
Are you ok with noise and crowds or do you prefer quiet open spaces?
Do you need to be close to shopping, restaurants, entertainment, parks, recreation centers?
Is the type of home important? (e.g. new construction, resale, townhome, condo)
Is maintenance free important to you?
NARROWING THE SEARCH
Now that you have your list of preferences you will more than likely be able to weed out areas that don't measure up. First and foremost it would be wise to go ahead and remove any areas that do NOT meet your must-haves. You are looking to narrow your search not keep every possible option on the table. Choosing a general area typically involves deciding if you want to be inside or outside of the city, proximity to certain schools, or commute times.
RESEARCHING AREA OF INTEREST
Once you have discovered a general area that interests you it is time to dig a little deeper. This step, along with the previous, can be done mostly through online research or phone calls. It is important to remember that it is highly unlikely to find a location that checks every box on your list but this is the portion of the process where you may begin to look for a few more would-like-to-haves. Now is your chance to hone in on areas that more closely fit your family's personalty. Are you nature enthusiasts, social butterflies, foodies, neat freaks?
INVESTIGATING PROSPECTIVE NEIGHBORHOODS
You've decided on a general area. You've filtered through the results and found neighborhoods that meet your basic requirements and hopefully possess some additional perks. Finally, we get to everyone's favorite part. We get to ride around and look at all the pretty houses! While this can be a fun activity remember that this is part of your investigation and a crucial part at that. You are getting to know the area. Simply strolling through will certainly not be all-telling. Here are some great tips to remember while touring potential neighborhoods.
Stop and speak with members of the neighborhood who may be out for a walk or working in their yard. Ask their likes and dislikes. This is the best way to discover information you may not otherwise know until you move in.
This would also be a good time to inquire about a HOA. Is there one? What are the costs? Is the HOA active?
Talk to other locals. They will have more insight on the surrounding area. They could be friends or even employees that work nearby.
Are there tons of for sale signs throughout the neighborhood? This could be a red flag.
Check to see if the properties are well-kept.
Keep an eye out for vandalism or other crime activities. Things like broken windows or spray paint.
Is there a community watch?
Visit the area during different parts of the day. Are there certain times the neighborhood comes alive? Are the roads extremely busy at specific times? Are the streets well-lit at night?
Listen. Are there irritating noises? Maybe you are near train tracks, an airport, constant construction? Maybe there are lots of people blasting music from different residences or from their cars.
Be aware of unpleasant smell if any. Maybe there are farmhouses or a landfill nearby.
Hopefully by the end of this process you will have discovered at least a few neighborhoods that may accommodate you and your family nicely. If you would like further assistance at any point of your search please feel free to reach out!
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Growing up in Eastern NC, I have always felt blessed to live in such a beautiful and diverse state. I appreciate being able to enjoy peaceful winters in the mountains and long summer days at one of ou....