Prospective homebuyers usually develop an initial impression of a home for sale based on curb appeal. After the property is appraised from a distance, a thorough inspection of the physical structure begins. In addition to the physical components of a house, potential homebuyers can evaluate the surrounding neighborhoods for valuable characteristics that are less obvious.
One of the first characteristics of a neighborhood you are likely to notice is whether area residents tend to get out and walk to nearby destinations. Some communities are built to be more suitable for walking, allowing residents to leave their cars at home more often. The presence of a network of sidewalks is usually a good indicator that walking can be accomplished safely.
If the neighborhood seems amenable to walking, you might consider going for a stroll to try and strike up conversations. Most people are willing to voice an opinion about their community. A casual conversation might reveal positive traits about the neighborhood, along with suggestions about what should be changed for the better.
Quality of local schools
If you have children or anticipate having children, the quality of local schools is likely to be a major concern. Neighborhood residents that you speak with may be able to state their own opinions about school quality. The U.S. Department of Education provides an online search tool that displays school-quality statistics. The search tool can list schools within a zip code, or it can search for nearby schools with specific characteristics.
Vitality of the central business district
Some cities and towns have experienced an economic slowdown in downtown locations as businesses have moved to outlying areas. Some of those cities have successfully revitalized their downtown business districts, resulting in communities in which you can both live and work.
Recreational parks are often located in downtown and suburban areas. A park located within walking distance may add value to your home, even though the actual value is difficult to measure.
Large employer base
Take a look at the largest employers in the counties near the home you are considering. The largest employers have such an economic impact that their well-being affects the community at large. Even if you commute to a distant community for work, the home you return to at the end of each day has intangible value. Contact a real-estate agent for more advice on searching for your next home so you can find a home and a community that are a dream fit for you. .