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Finding the Perfect Neighborhood

Once you’ve become pre-qualified for a loan, you should be ready to put your house-hunting efforts into full gear. But don’t skip the important step of scouting out neighborhoods before you start your search for the perfect house.

The neighborhood in which you live will heavily dictate your whole way of life—things like walking to a nearby park with your kids, knowing your kids are attending good schools, feeling safe when your children play outdoors, being close to restaurants and shopping, enjoying a short commute, and knowing your home will appreciate at a healthy rate.
Of course one way to get started in your neighborhood search is to get in your car and explore, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area. Get an idea about the neighborhoods by driving around and seeing which areas appeal to you. Walk around, explore, and talk to some of the residents.
Take note of the general appearance of the homes. Are they well maintained? Are they nicely landscaped?
If you have children, you might be looking for a neighborhood with plenty of children around, as opposed to neighborhoods that attract more seniors or young singles.
Other factors you’ll want to consider are the schools, crime, your family’s specific needs, and appreciation – as in how much the value of the home is likely to increase.
A good Realtor will be very familiar with all the neighborhoods in the area and should be able to tell you about the strengths and weaknesses of the specific neighborhoods you’re eyeing.
The school district
Even if you don’t have school-aged children, buying a home in a district with good schools will be in your best interest. When and if you sell the home at some point in the future, future buyers with children will likely consider good schools their top priority. And neighborhoods with good schools typically attract more buyers.
There are several sites on the Web in which school reports are just a few mouse clicks away. Basically all you do is enter a geographical area or zip code and it will display ratings for the school system. Also:
  • Ask your Realtor about information on schools in the area.
  • Talk to people in the neighborhood, especially people with children.
  • Standardized test scores are also available on the Internet.
  • Visit the schools and take a tour if you have children. It’s important that your decision isn’t based purely through facts gathered online. Get a true feeling for what the school is like.
Crime statistics
No one wants to live in a neighborhood where break-ins and burglary are the norm. There are web sites that can provide you with statistics on crime and other information pertinent to your search.
In addition to school information, Homestore lets you enter a city or zip code and provides you with crime datafor the area you choose. It also compares crime statistics with other cities (such as the city from which you are moving).
In researching a neighborhood, you must first determine your area. The suburbs may have lower crime statistics, but may be farther from your work. Cities may have more crime, but may have other qualities that you consider more attractive, such as convenience and cultural activities.
Use the following tips to help you learn about crime statistics in a neighborhood:
  • Talk to neighbors.
  • Take note if there are bars on the windows and doors of homes.
  • Talk to the police or sheriff’s department.
  • Check for gang graffiti on walls and walkways.
  • Keep in mind that if you’re looking in-town, you may not be able to get away from everything you consider unappealing (such as noise and traffic).
Keep your family in mind
A home isn’t just an investment when you have a family to think of. You’ll need to consider more than just the number of bedrooms or whether it has an attached garage. You’ll need to consider the community first and foremost. Do you want schools that are in walking distance? Do you want to be close to your place of employment? Do you want to be close to shopping, restaurants, and other services?
You’ll also want to research property values before you find a home in the neighborhood that you like; property values reflect a community’s overall health.
And when you do your research, find out what houses sell for now versus a decade ago, five years ago, and three years ago. Also, find out how much property taxes have gone up.

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Posted In: EHR News

About The Author

Joseph Sabeh Jr.

Please let me introduce myself, I am Joseph Sabeh, Jr a full time licensed professional realtor. I have been with Executive Homes Realty for over 13 years and was trained by my late father and Broker, Joseph Sabeh. I recently incorporated the company and we moved the office to 43513 Mission Blvd just last summer. I could not have found a more honorable place to work. After earning my experience selling high end Ralph Lauren suits and studying business management in southern California, I decided to pursue my dream of selling real estate and working with my father. He had already had such an excellent reputation and established a niche market of high end clientele that catered to the very best. I wanted to become the consummate professional just like him and have strived to become just that being just a phone call or email away from getting back to my client’s immediate needs! Known by my clients for my tenacity, perseverance , and excellence in negotia- tion(Certified Negotiation Expert), I have always strived to meet my clients high demands and goals. As a result of my professionalism, I have achieved an extensive portfolio of referrals from past and present clients. I credit my current values from my upbringing of my parents and the credit is due to them without question. Their integrity, pride, and willingness to sacrifice for the better of my life and my sister’s always left a mark on me that one day I will pass on. Their desire to achieve a better life and live it to the fullest is one that some families dream of and I certainly am appreciative of all of the education and etiquette I have learned from them both. I have sold condos up to 3.2 million dollar homes and I am here for any and all of your future real estate needs and wishing you the very best experience in your future real estate endeavors with me.

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