When you buy a home, the neighborhood is an important part of your community, and it affects your lifestyle. If you live in a neighborhood far from retail or grocery stores, are you okay with that? The 7 factors to consider when looking for the perfect neighborhood, whether it’s in Kansas City or another community.
How to find the perfect neighborhood
Proximity to your hot spots
Location, location, location! You’ve heard the saying, and it has real meaning when you’re buying a home.
When you’re buying a home, the location means everything. Do you want a rural, city, or suburban setting? That sets the mood for your home life. You can walk wherever you want to go in the city, but you have to drive in the suburbs.
Look at a home’s proximity to gas stations, grocery stores, home improvement, restaurants, recreational facilities, and clothing stores.
You may want to even factor in the closest Trader Joe’s, Starbucks, or Whole Foods. Statistics show homes closest to these businesses are popular with buyers. But, you’ll pay a little more money for these homes because of the demand. Oh, the Starbucks effect!
Once you decide on a neighborhood, drive to your favorite spots from it. Make sure you’re comfortable with the time it takes to get places from that neighborhood.
Find a home in the best school district
High performing school districts drive home sales because families want to live in those areas.
The school district is something to consider even if you don’t have children because it affects the resale value of a home. While you don’t want to be overly concerned about resale value, it’s something you should consider.
When evaluating school districts, consider factors like class size, academic and athletic opportunities, and test scores.
In the KC area, look at the school district on the home’s MLS description. The school districts don’t always have the same boundaries as city limits.
The Sally Moore Real Estate Team is making it easy for you to find homes for sale in the school district of your choice.
Look at the district, and the individual schools assigned to your neighborhood. The National Center for Education Statistics makes it easy to see class sizes and basic school information.
Once you choose a neighborhood, research the city. The Census Quick Facts make it easy to compare cities in seconds. Find out the average income, households with a college education, commute time, average home price and so much more!
That gives you a good perspective on who lives in your city, and what life will be like for your family.
While not neighborhood specific, it’s still a good snapshot.
Safety is a top reason homeowners choose neighborhoods, especially if they have children.
Blue Springs and Lee’s Summit offer crime mapping. You can see everything from a serious crime to an information only report. While the mapping software doesn’t include specific addresses, you can see the block where the crime occurred.
You can view the data in a map form, making it easy to zoom into a neighborhood you’re thinking about buying a home.
Knowledge is power, so the more you know, the more you can provide.
If you’re in love with a house in a neighborhood where there’s crime, perhaps a home security device will set your mind at ease. You can even sign-up for alerts, through the crime mapping software. That way you get an alert if something happens in your specific neighborhood. There are lots of steps you can and should take to stay safe.
Find The Perfect Neighborhood Today!
When you’re researching a neighborhood, ask if it has a homeowners association (HOA). Some home buyers like HOA communities and others don’t.
Second, look into the strength of the HOA. Some HOAs don’t do much while others are quite active.
Third, check the HOA’s financial health. Year-end financial documents and budgets provide insight into the neighborhood’s finances and expenses. You want to be careful before you buy into an HOA with poor financial health, because you may have unexpected expenses later.
Spend some time in the neighborhood
The best way to get a feel for a neighborhood is to walk around and drive it. Spend time there, looking at homes and talking with residents.
Are homeowners happy? Do homeowners take care of their homes? Are there lots of children or is the neighborhood quiet?
Each answer affects your quality of life and should be a factor when you’re researching a neighborhood.
Visit the neighborhood during the day and at night. You get a different perspective of a neighborhood at night than you do during the day!
Consult with a Realtor®
When you’re interested in a home, Realtors® provide comparable home values in a neighborhood. That tells you a lot about a neighborhood. The data shows you how long homes sat on the market, how the sale price compared to the list price and the price range of homes.
They can also help you decide between resale and new construction. The Kansas City real estate market offers more new construction options than resale properties. You can even purchase a new home, put the finishing touches on it, and still move in within 30 to 60 days. Of course, you can always choose your lot and build from the ground-up too.