If you’re a home-buyer searching for your perfect home, you probably have a checklist of criteria that you are looking for: certain number of bedrooms, bathrooms, a modern kitchen maybe, or open floor plan. One thing that should be high on your list too (and can be overlooked) is the community and neighborhood. Factors like walkability, HOA (Home Owners Associations), access to walking trails, schools, even neighbors’ upkeep of their homes should all be something to consider too. Trulia words it perfectly in a recent article I read:
“You can knock down walls and repaint your new home all you want, but when it comes to your neighborhood, you take it as it is. But if you choose the right one, that can be great news.”
Here are five tips to help you choose a home in a community that is right for you.
- Overall ask yourself about the type of scene you are looking for in a neighborhood – a quiet one or a more lively scene. You may love hanging out in a particular part of town, but when it actually comes to living there, you may find that all the other people hanging out there too & making noise isn’t exactly what you had in mind.
- How did you feel on your first impression of the neighborhood? Did you mind that there were RVs and cars parked all around on the road and in driveways? Did you see many houses that are run down or yards that need work? Neighborhood associations often have rules around parking on the roads, general upkeep, and even aesthetics of the houses. If you are concerned about the appearance of your neighborhood as a whole, maybe a one with a HOA is the right for you. If you didn’t have a good feeling at first of a particular neighborhood, you may want to stick to your gut.
- Decide if walkability is important to you and if so – make sure you understand what is defined as within walking distance. For example – if you see a house listed as highly walkable, you may have an image of walking to cute “Mom & Pop” shops and cafés only to realize, it is walking distance to a strip mall with only fast food chains and a gas station. Go visit the house and park the car… walk around and get a feel for the neighborhood & the walks you will go on.
- While you are out walking, talk to the neighbors. What better way to really hear the ins and outs of an area than from a neighbor that already lives there. There may be complaints or positive features that aren’t obvious from you quick visits.
- Check the surrounding features such as whether there are parks or walking trails close to the house. Also look for elements that may affect the day-to-day living like being near a loud, active train or even a tourist attraction that will bring heavy traffic. It is also good to look at the school ratings in the area even if you don’t have children as higher rating schools will be better for resale.
In the end, you want to get into a home you love in an area that is right for you. Taking the extra steps to really study the area as much as the home will pay off in the end.
If you or anyone you know needs help on their Boulder-Denver home buying search, I’d love to help! Please reach out through the contact form below or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.