While the appearance, maintenance and size of a home can all be significant determining factors for buying a new home, many buyers also take the neighborhood into serious consideration. Your neighborhood is the first thing you see when you walk out of your home, and you want it to fit your lifestyle. So how can you choose the right community? Become a neighborhood detective. Figure out what you’re looking for, do research and find the perfect neighborhood that fits your description.
1. Think about your current location
The best place to start thinking about what you want your new neighborhood to look like is right in your current location. Why are you choosing to move and what do you currently like or dislike about your neighborhood? Maybe you’re looking for a location that is closer to shops and dining, or possibly an area with younger families and children. Is your current location a long commute to your job?
2. What amenities are you looking for?
Neighborhoods come in all shapes and sizes, but you likely have certain local amenities that are higher on your priority list than others. Are you looking for a local park and pool for your children? Do you and your spouse like to eat out often at local restaurants? Make a list of your “must haves” and your “nice to have” to help your agent determine which amenities are most important to you.
3. Research the neighborhoods you’re interested in
If you’re moving within the same city, you may already know many of the neighborhoods. Choose the ones that best match your list of wants. After you have narrowed down a few neighborhoods you are interested in based solely on location and amenities, take the time to research the area. If you’re moving to a new city, you’ll have to do a little more research. Your agent can also provide you with resources to discover more about schools, crime, neighborhood associations and tourist attractions.
4. Take the time to visit the neighborhood
If you live in the area, head over to the neighborhoods you are considering throughout different times of the day to get a feel for the area. We don’t recommend driving slowly down the roads multiple times a day, just visiting the area two or three times over the course of a couple weeks—you get the idea. Look for abandoned buildings, visit the shops, listen for noise from nearby highways or airports. Chat with people in the neighborhood or local shop owners about how they enjoy the area.
Remember that where you choose to buy a house is where you will spend the majority of your social and personal time. It’s okay to spend time researching and considering the neighborhood. Our agents have a lot of knowledge of the Twin Cities region, and can help you find a neighborhood you will love.