What community traits to look for when buying a home

For many families, buying a home is an investment of a lifetime. It’s also an achievement they’ll never forget.

The houses people buy today can very easily be the homes they will enjoy for decades to come. If you’re embarking on this exciting journey toward homeownership, it’s important to leave no stone unturned when learning about the neighborhood.

If you want to be part of a neighborhood that aligns with your values and goals and has everything you have ever dreamed about, here are some community traits to consider when purchasing a home.

What’s the school district like?

If you have a young family, schooling is a huge consideration, especially if you must move schools or districts.

As a parent and future homeowner, you want to dive into the school district data to gauge school performance, athletics, extracurricular opportunities and other characteristics that appeal to your young learner.

Websites like GreatSchools will provide ratings and reviews of schools to help guide your decision.

Even if you’re not a parent, you might consider the property value increase homeowners can enjoy when they live near high-performing schools.

What’s the neighborhood’s livability like?

Livability metrics are a little subjective because some favorable attributes might not necessarily apply to you. Nevertheless, it’s important to get a snapshot of the community’s livability profile.

Some questions to ask yourself are: How walkable is the neighborhood? Are there a lot of trees, shade and parks? How far are the nearest golf courses, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, downtown districts, walking trails and so on?

Based on your interests, you and your family can make a determination on the community’s livability factor.

Where’s the nearest grocery store?

This might seem like a small detail and not top of mind, but future residents should aim to live in an area that has easy access to food.

Living in a food desert means fewer options and more inconveniences, such as more time on the road.

If you and your family enjoy fresh, farm-to-home foods, you might want to research and see where the nearest farmers markets are. It’s also important to see where the nearest grocery, pharmacy and pet food stores are. The proximity to these stores isn’t a deal breaker, but it is certainly a factor to consider for health and convenience reasons.

Is there a homeowner’s association?

One of the first thoughts that come to mind when a community features a homeowner’s association is: How much are the fees?

While HOA fees will vary widely based on communities, future residents should consider an HOA as an asset. The HOA will be in charge of keeping up with common areas, such as community pools and entrances. The HOA will also be responsible for issuing landscaping best practices for the entire neighborhood.

In short, an HOA is an ambassador for you and your neighborhood and will enhance various aspects of community life that everyone will enjoy.

If you are interested in purchasing real estate and need help with a home loan, contact us today!

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