Choosing the Right Neighborhood

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Need help finding the right neighborhood for your home search? Here are four factors that should figure prominently in your thinking.

Schools

Even if you don’t have kids, the quality of the schools in a given neighborhood should be high on your priority list. That’s because property values are higher in communities with strong school districts, meaning that your home will appreciate more. That said, you may have to settle for less house due to higher prices.

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Property Values

Independent of school quality, you should look at local trends in home prices to get insight into that community’s future. If property values have been in steady decline for a decade, you’ll likely face issues when it comes to reselling down the line. Instead, look for up and coming neighborhoods where home prices are climbing. This is where your agent comes in – a market analysis of the homes in your potential neighborhood will help determine resale value or appreciation percentages.

Traffic

Remember: if you’re buying a home, chances are you plan on living there for a long time. Heavy traffic may not seem like a big deal now, but in five years you (and your wallet) may feel differently. Congestion can also have health and safety implications with respect to air pollution and car accidents.

Emergency and Medical Services

In the event that something bad happens, you want to be sure that emergency responders can reach you quickly. It’s also one thing to be close to a hospital, and quite another to be close to a good hospital. If possible, concentrate on areas in proximity to university hospitals, which tend to have more modern equipment and resources.