When it comes to finding the perfect place to live for you or your family, let's face it, your neighborhood is just as important as your house. Doing the research to determine what a neighborhood has to offer is crucial when you're ready to upgrade your quality of life. The greatest areas for families with children are not always the best places for empty nesters looking to downsize by the beach. In this post, I'll point one some details you should be looking for in a neighborhood during the buying process.
Location is everything. Imagine living in an amazing area, but your business is 50 miles away. This will not leave you with much time to enjoy everything your neighborhood has to offer considering you will be spending most of your time commuting to the office.
Location plays a huge factor when it comes to the community and its amenities. If you enjoy taking the boat out on the Intracoastal every weekend, choosing an area with multiple waterfront properties will give you the waterfront lifestyle you've been dreaming of. Or, if you prefer being in walking distance to restaurants and shops, finding a newly remodeled house or condo in a more urban location would be best.
Pro Tip: Drive or walk around the area's you are researching. Make sure to take note of distances and time that it takes to get to some of the places you may be going to often.
Talk With The Locals
Sparking conversations with the locals is a great way to see if you would enjoy living in that area. Locals will know the area best and can make you aware of the perks and issues. Most people love chatting about their neighborhood and where they live.
Join the local Facebook Community group to get a vibe of the neighborhood. Or attend neighborhood-based cultural events both during the day and night to get a vibe for the area.
Pro Tip: Ask locals questions like, "What is something that you would only know if you lived here?" or "What is something you love about living here?"
If you have kids, then schools may be the most important factor in choosing a neighborhood. You maybe be looking for a school in walking distance or a school with a particular curriculum. The best advice is to decide on the schools you enjoy first, then begin looking for the surrounding neighborhoods.
Pro Tip: There are many online resources such as GreatSchools.org where you can look up the schools in your area and their rating. Once you have decided on a school that you believe will be best for your family, visit the school.
Property value plays a huge role in choosing a neighborhood. If your desired neighborhood has high-value homes this means higher resale value and home value retention. If many homes in the area have declining property values, it can directly impact the value of the entire neighborhood. An area that once was a great looking place to live can slowly turn into a rundown location in need of some tender, love, and care.
In terms of choosing a home in each respective neighborhood, I recommend subscribing to the old adage of not choosing the most expensive home in the neighborhood.
Pro Tip: Take a look at my Real Estate Market Activity Reports, which are carefully detailed to each type of residence and price point within a neighborhood. These reports provide tons of juicy insight that will be valuable to your purchasing decisions.
The neighborhood you live in can have a greater impact on your satisfaction than the home itself. The right house in the wrong area will leave you unhappy in the long-run. Research online, speak with locals, drive around the surrounding area to determine if the neighborhood is right for you or your family, and, most importantly, consult with me!
With 20+ years of experience selling and buying in the Fort Lauderdale area, nobody knows this city better than me.