Location: Cities, Neighborhoods, Schools and Lifestyle Choices
Do your city and neighborhood research. You are not just buying a house, you’re buying a neighborhood, a city, schools, amenities, conveniences, and inconveniences too. And that is likely the most important element of seeing a property in person. With Real-ativity, it’s easy to get a great overview of the neighborhood, but it never gets better than a live tour. During your visit pay attention to traffic speeds, sidewalks, lighting at night, and whether there’s plentiful access to amenities you need. Spend some time walking around the neighborhood around 6pm and see what the neighbors are up to after work/school hours. Do it again at 10 pm and once on a Saturday.
Consider the city:
Cities and local governments make all the difference. Real-ativity will give you the big picture. Do your diligence so you can see the city for what it is now, and for what it is planned to be in the future. Look at these attributes:
- CRAs (Community Redevelopment Agency) will let you know what is planned to change in the city. Often revitalization programs will let you know where the next cool renovated area will be, where there have been art grants, or where new walkable businesses are setting up.
- School information: Look into the local public and private schools and daycare programs. Elementary, junior, and high school.
- Crime statistics: Call the local police station or visit their website.
- Events: Check the city event calendar, is this a parade/ festival town? Do they shut the streets down bi-weekly for street parties? Is this a city on the move or a city asleep?
- Parks and recreation: What type of outdoor activities are there? How far to the beach, canoeing, biking, hiking, hunting, picnicking?
- Cultural attractions: Theaters, art centers, zoos, maker’s space, science museums, and aquariums! Think rainy day.
- Do you have children or are you planning to have children soon? Research the school system. Even if you’re single, living in an area with a sought-after school system raises your property resale value.
- What type of home? Are you interested in a single-family home, duplex, townhouse, condo or co-op?
- What does transportation look like? Can you take public transit, must you drive, is it walkable? What about parking for you and your guests?
- Do you want to be in a downtown area or in the suburbs? Ask yourself why, and really think it
- What is the most important reason you are moving? Crave the farm air? Have you always wanted to live on the waterfront? Did you just buy a boat? Put that at the top of your list.
- Would you like to be within walking distance of shops, restaurants, and bars? Or would you be willing to drive for amenities?
- Neighborhood associations: Does the community you’re looking at have one, and, if so, are there lawn or construction restrictions? Is there a yearly fee?
- Are the neighbors friendly & courteous? Are they hosting neighborhood barbeques and happy hours or do they yell “get off my lawn” when you pass by? It’s important!