Location, Location, Location
This applies too more than where your business is situated. It is also relates to finding the perfect neighborhood to live in, and often where you will raise your family. Start with a bit of research. Falling in love with a home, and then discovering that the neighborhood is not what you expected, will likely end in disappointment. It is not like buying an appliance or electronics; you can return those if you realize they are not what you perceived them to be.
Things you will want to consider as you begin to investigate a new neighborhood of course would be safety, commute, community amenities and home style. Some other essentials you don’t want to sidestep are listed below.
This may sound silly, but sidewalks communicate a variety of things about a neighborhood. Sidewalks often lead to parks and other community amenities that are within a short walk. If you or your family is active, this will be important to you. Sidewalks also provide safety for walks to the mailbox, grocery store, local dining or just a neighbor’s house. If you are a pet owner or have children, sidewalks are enormously desirable to keep everyone safe.
HOA’s, Taxes and Other Expenses
Some neighborhoods have additional expenses that others may not. It is necessary to consider these additional costs when deciding where to relocate. Private HOA’s can be a bit pricey in planned communities, condos or country club developments. Often there can be more than one HOA, so do a little investigating. You don’t want to receive any surprises after you sign on the dotted line. Rules are a part of HOA’s. Be sure to read through what is allowed and what needs approval.
Another noteworthy cost that needs to be understood is how the property taxes are handled. They may in fact be escrowed into your monthly mortgage payments. If and when your property value increases, so will your taxes. This will be reflected in an increase to your monthly payment, so be sure your budget can handle the higher rate.
Be aware if you get a fabulous deal on a foreclosed property and you take it because it is within your current budget. Property valuation will increase along with the property taxes. It is something to consider when looking at foreclosures.
Community Activities and Amenities
Neighborhood amenities, most often, are a significant attribute when looking at homes and communities. This is true for families, retired couples or single bachelor living. Fit your neighborhood to your lifestyle and hobbies. For some, like young families, nearby parks or community swimming pools may be of interest. Dog owners may find having a nearby dog park particularly attractive, while senior citizens may enjoy having local social activity centers in their community. Single dwellers may like a variety of convenient restaurants or active nightlife hotspots. Walk or drive around the community to get a feel of what it has to offer.
School Ratings and Property Values
While this concern may only seem to be an issue a family needs to reflect on, this is not exactly true. From preschool through high school, public or private, ratings matter. School ratings affect home values. Schools that are assessed as being strong educational institutions with low drop out rates, high college acceptance scores and other factoring criteria raise property values. For parents this is deemed extremely important to give their children the edge they will need to reach their full potential. For people without children, it needs to be considered for resale value when it is time to sell. It is also something to examine if you are single and/or renting. Rent values will be pricier in neighborhoods with high rated schools. As a parent, be sure to do a bit of first hand investigation to fully grasp the strength of a school district. Do not simply rely on what you find on the Web. Attend a PTA or PTO meeting. It is also beneficial to visit schools, schedule a tour and talk to parents. This investigation will give a clearer picture of what to expect.
Bottom line–housing the ideal neighborhood for you or you and your family takes some groundwork. Be patient and find the best fit, it will prove to be advantageous on all accounts.