Choosing The Right Neighborhood

choosing the right neighborhood

Choosing the right neighborhood to live is important, and it’s best viewed as a process.  It will have lasting effects on the daily life of your family, especially your children.

Here are 5 steps you can take to help ensure you select the best neighborhood.

Step 1– Make a list of what you want from your home and neighborhood and rate each desire on a scale of 1-5, 5 being very important and 1 being not important at all. for example…

1.  Style of home desired: single-family detached, townhouse, or condo.

2.  Kids: Do you have children or are planning to?  Consider this when choosing a neighborhood.  You have to think about the school system, and whether there are  other families with potential playmates for your kids.

3.  Proximity to work:  How far are you willing to travel to work?  Think about the time it will take, twice a day, 247 days a year (if you get a two-week vacation). Consider the distance and traffic.  If you’re not sure how long it may take, make a test drive.  Start from your prospective neighborhood at the time you would leave for work and time it.

4.  Type of community:  Do you want a hometown feel, city, rural, or suburbian?

5.   Proximity to shopping: Do you want to be able to walk or have just a short drive to stores or will you enjoy driving 15 minutes or more to get there?

Step 2–  Narrow your neighborhood searches to 3 or 4 that you’ve researched.  Once you’ve narrowed them down, you can investigate in more detail.

Step 3– Research schools, crime statistics, neighborhood demographics, parks and recreation, shopping and access to major roads and highways.  You can find a lot of this information online.  Some helpful sites are crimereports.com, city-data.com (one of my favorites), yahoo.realestate.com/neighborhoods and greatschools.net.

Step 4– Play detective. After your research, visit your prospective neighborhoods and drive around them and in the community.  Go at various times and on different occasions,–days, evenings, weekends– to get a feel for what they’re  like. This is absolutely the best way to know what you’re attracted to or repulsed by. I used this technique to pick a neighborhood I relished for 12 years…till finding the opportunity to move into a dream home in a dream location! Do not skip this step!

Look at the houses.  Are they well maintained?  Are there many homes for rent or sale? That could be a sign of trouble.  Talk to people you see in the neighborhood and ask them questions.  Imagine yourself living there and see how you feel.  Do you feel good or do you have an uneasy feeling?

Step 5– Now that you’ve chosen the neighborhood you want to live in, you can begin choosing the right house.

Once you have the perfect (for now) place, make sure you know the correct way to pay for it, and believe me, it isn’t the way the bank tells you to pay! You can recycle the equity into your home into your mortgage, or just change the timing on your mortgage and other bill payments. Thousands of people doing this are becoming debt-free, including huge credit card balances, in 5-12 years. How’s that for a good investment in a great neighborhood?

(Register for a free workshop on mortgage acceleration. You’ll be glad you did.

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