When shopping for a home, it's easy for buyers to fall in love with a property. Some buyers, however, value neighborhoods more than homes, feeling they can always fix a home but not an undesirable neighborhood.
When considering which neighborhood to begin a home search, buyers should research a host of factors.
Crime. Crime statistics are public domain so buyers can examine crime figures for any neighborhood. Some real estate websites list neighborhood crime ratings among the information they offer about a property. In addition, buyers can visit a site such as CrimeReports.com to access data on crimes committed near a particular address.
Home Values. Buyers can work with a local real estate agent to find a neighborhood where real estate prices are trending upwards. While buyers might be able to find a great deal on a home where home prices are dropping, remember those prices are dropping for a reason.
Amenities. The proximity of amenities such as shopping, restaurants and parks is attractive to many buyers. A home in a remote location could limit buyers when the time comes to sell the home down the road. Buyers might be able to find a compromise in a home that is a short drive away from a town center, but still remote enough that they are not in the middle of the hustle and bustle.
Commute. Quality of life is heavily influenced by commute time. When considering a neighborhood, do a test run on the commute during rush hour before making an offer. Potential buyers might be able to get an estimated commute time online, but a test run can give a more accurate idea of what daily trips to and from the office will be like.