5 Tips on Finding the Right Neighborhood

Choosing the right location for a home purchase involved thorough research and consideration of a few key factors, in order to optimize the property's resale potential.
Aerial photo of Denver's neighborhood
Aerial photo of Denver’s neighborhood

Choosing a neighborhood when buying or renting is very important, and there are many things to keep in mind. As a developer, it is crucial to know what the future renter or homeowner wants in a household. That is why renters, as well as developers, have to take in consideration a few tips when searching for the right neighborhood.

Trying before buying

First, and probably one of the most important aspects of the home search, is to weight the option of renting before purchasing. This is a very good idea, especially when moving a long distance or to an unfamiliar city or region, and it will likely help in making a more informed home-purchasing decision. So, as a developer, you might consider building communities with units that can be rented, in addition to purchased.

Local taxes, other expenses

It’s important to research the local taxes and additional home-purchasing expenses. Even if you’re renting to start, property taxes can have a strong influence on housing costs and on the overall cost of living. Don’t forget about the additional expenses of living in a certain neighborhood. If you’re moving into a country club development or a condo, you may be responsible for a costly homeowner’s association fee. A change in the tax rate can also affect monthly payments, so by having an idea of how rates have moved over the past several years can offer a view of what they might do in the future.

Prioritizing safety

Another very important aspect of a home-purchasing decision is the local crime rate. Crime statistics and neighborhood stability go hand in hand. While a less safe area may have lower rents and home prices, making it cheaper to locate there, it may also come with greater risk of property damage or theft. Most real estate sites have statistics that tell you how the ZIP code’s crime rates measure up to the national average. Though no community is totally free of crime, research can uncover areas with low crime rates.

Education and lifestyle amenities

For developers is a very important aspect to take in consideration. Even though the subject of schools might be more important to a family with children or a couple hoping to start a family, good schools should be a priority on every developer’s list. It’s important to understand how the quality of the school system in that zone will affect property resale values. On the other hand, if you’re renting and do not have children, good schools in the area may not be a priority.

Local amenities are also a key factor in choosing where to buy a home. The availability of neighborhood parks, libraries, bike trails, local business and shops all affect property values.

Future development

A quiet,  private neighborhood with dense tree cover may sound ideal to a prospective homebuyer, but for developers, it means more opportunities to expand. It’s important to find out what other developments are planned the area, as the supply pipeline—and construction process—can impact the resale value of a property.

Image courtesy of Google Street View