When buying your first house, location is one of the most important factors to consider. You can make many modifications to a home, but you can’t change its location.
The neighborhood you buy in is important, because it not only plays a crucial role in determining what your life will be like over the next few years, but may also impact things like your property taxes and your home’s resale value.
Below, we’ve provided some tips on how to choose the right neighborhood.
Steps to Take Before You Begin Shopping for a Home
Buying a home requires careful planning and critical thinking. Before you even begin shopping around or comparing neighborhoods, you’ll want to take certain steps to set yourself up for success. Here are some ways you can prepare:
- Start saving for a down payment early
- Work on improving your credit score
- Figure out how much house you can afford
- Gather your taxes and other important documents
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage
Why Is Buying in a Good Neighborhood Important?
Once you’ve determined that you’re in a good position to buy, it’s time to start thinking about where you want to live. The neighborhood in which you buy your first home is important because it:
- Can impact your personal health and safety
- Determines what amenities you have access to
- Impacts your home’s value
- Determines whether you have access to good schools
- Allows you to be part of a community
- Affects your daily commute and drive to work
- Impacts your finances and determines your cost of living
How to Choose a Good Neighborhood
Now that you understand the importance of buying a home in a good neighborhood, let’s talk about how to choose the right one. Before you start attending open houses, you’ll want to do some research and think critically about which neighborhoods align best with your needs. We recommend taking the following steps to set yourself up for success.
Determine Your Budget
Some neighborhoods are more expensive than others. For most buyers, knowing their budget is critical because it determines where they can and cannot afford to buy a home. If you’re not sure how much house you can afford, we recommend scheduling an appointment with one of our home financing experts.
Look at the Price History
Whether you’re buying your first house, your second, or your third, you’ll want to make sure that the neighborhood you’re buying into is a good financial investment. Analyze the price history and appreciation of properties in the neighborhood to gain an understanding of the bigger picture.
Research Crime Rates & Schools
You want to make sure that you’re buying a home in a neighborhood that’s safe and has access to good schools. Even if you do not have children and are not planning on having children, whoever buys your home next might have kids and they’ll want good schools nearby they can send them to.
Access to amenities like public transportation, grocery stores, parks, libraries, and outdoor activities are also important things to consider. You’ll want to think about what amenities are important to your lifestyle as well as future homebuyers.
Now that you understand how to choose a good neighborhood when buying your first house, it’s time to take the next steps. Call today to begin the application process so you can get pre-approved for a mortgage.