Choosing the right neighborhood is an important part of finding a home. If you love the house but the neighborhood has concerns or have the perfect kitchen but your located on a busy street, you’re never going to feel completely comfortable living there.
Your best bet is to figure out if your neighborhood is a good fit with your family before you start looking for a home there (or certainly before you put in an offer). Spend some time there; take a walk through the streets, talk with a few of the neighbors to get a sense of the area’s personality. Jason's 24 years of experience will assist you in finding the right Neighborhood
Here are few questions that can help you figure out if a neighborhood is right for you:
Do homes look cared for? Even in moderately-priced areas, pride of ownership helps keep property values up. Keep an eye out for signs of neglect like overgrown lawns, houses in need of paint and vacant lots (which can be zoned for commercial use, or end up getting used as dumps). On the other hand, if an area has a lot of neglected-looking homes but you notice that a number look like they’ve been recently renovated, that may be a sign that the neighborhood is becoming gentrified; buying a home there and fixing it up can be a good long-term investment.
Families? Retirees? First-time homeowners? Professionals with no kids?
An area populated mainly by young families, for example, will feel very different from one with lots of college and university students. Another example would be a retirement living area, with a first time home buyer. Knowing the neighbors is a great start to feel even more comfortable with your home investment.
How long will it take to get to work? Can you walk to work? Is the Cranbrook Public Transit system close by? Figure out how often buses run past your house or how far you are from a major highway? These are often important considerations to enjoy not just your home but your neighborhood. Figure out how far you’ll have to travel to do everyday stuff like grocery shopping. Where’s the closest gym? Dry cleaner? Post office? What about parks and recreational facilities? Being close to amenities isn’t important to everyone, but it’s a real day-to-day time saver, and can make the difference in the feel of a neighborhood; a place where people walk to the store and the library has a very different flavor than an area where people have to drive everywhere they need to go.
Vandalism and deterrents like “Beware of dog” signs or bars on windows can mean there’s a high crime rate in the area. Keep an eye out for graffiti. How are the neighboring yards maintained? How many vehicles are parked on the street? These simple observations can help you assess the quality of the neighborhood. With Jason's expertise, he can prepare you a socio-economic profile of the immediate neighborhood including; household information, amount of children, average age of neighborhood etc.
If you have kids, proximity and quality of schools is a major consideration. Talk with people who live in the area, and call local schools or check online to get test scores and ratings. Figure out exactly where schools are located to see if your kids can walk or if they’ll have to be driven or bussed. In Cranbrook, school location is paramount for re-sale on a home, even if you do not have children, you will want to keep your re-sale value high and appeal to the majority of buyers in the future. Remember, you are a Buyer today but at sometime in the future you will be a Seller.
Your home is an investment, so it pays to buy in an area where properties will increase in value. Ask your REALTOR® for info on property values in the area for the last 10 years so you can get a sense of how much they have gone up over time.
Development can change the personality of a neighborhood, and increase taxes and traffic. Look for new construction in the area and check with city hall or the local chamber of commerce for planned housing developments, new facilities, new retailers, etc.
Is it quiet or noisy?
Visit the area at different times of day to get a sense of the noise level. A quiet street may be party central once the sun goes down, and an area along a busy street or arterial road may appear to be quiet at 2PM but extremely busy at peak hours. Listen for barking dogs, traffic noise, and loud music.
Good neighbors, great amenities, nice schools and cool shops can make or break how you feel about your house or condo. Talk to Jason who specializes in the area, do your research, know your interests and Jason can provide in-depth facts and information on any neighborhood within the City. You will be able to find a neighborhood that fits your needs and your lifestyle.
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