Colleen Griffin - RE/MAX Vision



Posted by Colleen Griffin on 1/29/2018


We know that location matters when youíre trying to find the right home to buy, but why?  First, buying a home you like in a location that matches your needs is a sign of a solid, long-term investment. Finding the right home isnít always the answer to your property search woes. Many times, finding a house that needs a little TLC in the right neighborhood can give you a better return on your investment than finding a move-in ready house in the wrong neighborhood. You want to think in terms of finding a home that will be easy to sell if you so choose to sell it. Most importantly, you want to feel comfortable in your home and in your surroundings. What are the signs of a good location? Below, youíll find the most important things you should look for when searching for a home. 


Safe Neighborhood


Everyone wants a safe neighborhood, and you certainly know a sketchy neighborhood when you drive through it, but what denotes a neighborhood as ďsafeĒ? First, if you see people up and walking around a place, you know itís a good start to finding a safe neighborhood. People who are outside, interacting with one another give a neighborhood a community feel. You will feel like your neighbors have your back in a neighborhood like this. 


Quality Schools


the better the school district is, the higher the property values in the area are. If you donít have kids, this may not be much of an issue for you. However, if youíre thinking that you may want to sell your home anytime in the future, keep in mind that a less than reputable school district can really dip into property values. 


You Can Easily Access The Things You Need


If you can access the shops, restaurants, and other conveniences easily from your neighborhood, thatís the sign of a good location. No one wants to have to drive 45 minutes in order to get to the grocery store. Many people who are looking for homes like to be in or very close to the action and have easy access to the things they need. Think in terms of convenience when it comes to location. 


A View And Nature


A home with a view is always a sign of a great location. whether youíre near the water or near the mountains, itís nice to have something scenic and peaceful near your home to enjoy. Property values near the water are also always a bit higher than those further inland.


Transportation    


Access to public transportation is key in many neighborhoods. You want to be able to easily get to and from where you need to go without waiting around. If the area is more suburban or rural, access to freeways and main roads is key. Adding precious time to your commutes is never pleasant. Many times location and commute times come down to a simple matter of balance and planning when searching for a property.        





Posted by Colleen Griffin on 10/16/2017

Itís easy to fall in love with a house if it has all the features youíre looking for. However, itís important not to ignore the qualities of the neighborhood the house is in as well.

The state of the surrounding neighborhood is important for many homeowners. Youíll use the local amenities, walk on the sidewalks, drive on the roads, and eventually even set the price of your home based partially on the price of those surrounding it.

In this article, weíre going to discuss some of the reasons you should pay attention to the neighborhood when shopping for homes, and what qualities to look for to find a place that has both high quality of life and resale value.  

Neighborhood Inspection 101

There are a number of things youíll want to learn about a neighborhood before you move in. Some of them you can observe with your own eye, some you can find online via public records, and others will require talking to the locals to see what their experience has been.

Things to observe

When you go to visit a home, set aside some time beforehand to drive around the neighborhood. Check out the roads, sidewalks, and the general state of the neighborhood. Boarded up houses and closed businesses arenít always a sign of doom and gloom, but it can give you insight into the pricing of some homes and give you some negotiating power.

If you love the house and feel okay about the neighborhood swing by during rush hour, if possible. This will give you a sense of traffic and how long it will take you to get to work from your new home.

If youíre moving into a city, itís also a good idea to check out the after-hours scene. If a peaceful evening at home is what you seek, it will be a good idea to know ahead of time if your street comes alive at night.

Things to research

Itís a good idea to get a feel for the local culture before buying a home to see if it fits with your lifestyle. Are businesses closed on Sundays? Are there community events and clubs that you ur your family would be interested in? You can find most information online through Facebook groups, library websites, and local newspapers.

If youíre concerned with crime, you can find local data online. Similarly, records are available for local schools, such as where the townís test scores land compared to state and national averages.

Talk to the neighbors

The most practical way to learn about a neighborhood is to ask the people who live there. Theyíll be able to tell you how it has changed over the years, which will give you a sense of where the neighborhood is headed. They can tell you whether itís a neighborhood filled with young families or aging retirees, and will likely be able to let you know if there are any problems in the neighborhood.

Aside from the local culture, you should ask your potential new neighbors about the infrastructure. Do they have frequent power issues? Is there often noisy construction, or have there been potholes that havenít been filled for years? You can learn a lot from the people who have lived in a neighborhood for multiple years.







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