What GREAT advice * it works for rental homes also. I frequently have rental prospects who want to view lots of rental homes * some that are an hour apart because they have not narrowed their selection FIRST by schools, district to work, neighborhood amenities.
Buyer Tips: Locate the Neighborhood BEFORE You Look for a New Home
Charlotte has a multitude of areas, subareas, communities, subdivisions and neighborhoods and if you’re new to the area, you really do need a knowledgeable agent to guide you through the process of elimination as far as neighborhoods are concerned.
There are a few good sites that I recommend to my clients to learn more about the different areas/neighborhoods in Charlotte. First, you’ll want to consult your agent and let him/her know, specifically, what you’re looking for. Ask your agent if he/she is a Charlotte Certified Neighborhood Specialist. If so, he/she will be able to assist you in matching your current neighborhood to one very similar in your destination city. If at all possible, consult one in your destination city–you’ll be glad you did!
1. Make a list of all of the amenities that are near the neighborhood you are considering as your destination neighborhood. Keep in mind what distance is acceptable to and from frequented locations (work, school, worship) and the routes which you’ll be taking. Map them to see if the traffic pattern is going to be easy to alternate in the event of rush hour or accident traffic.
2. Determine the best features of a couple of neighborhoods; this is especially helpful if you are deciding between a few different neighborhoods in a few different areas. What lifestyle needs are important in your community and home selection?
Are there parks located nearby? Where are they located?
Is the neighborhood scenic and visually appealing?
Are the people friendly?
Is the neighborhood clean?
Are there nice trees and foliage; are there evergreens for year-round privacy and beauty?
Are the lots large or small?
Are there sidewalks and are they easily accessible?
Is the neighborhood safe?
What are the market values of the homes in the area?
How many homes are for sale?
How long ago was the community developed?
Are residents making improvements and updating interiors to help maintain property values?
What are the age demographics in the area?
Are there families with small children in the area or is it an ‘empty nest’ community or a neighborhood of young professionals with or without children?
What is the proximity to schools?
Does the neighborhood have community events or an active homeowner’s association?
Are there any new nearby industrial or retail building planned for the future? Any power plants? Highways?
3. Take a stroll around the neighborhood. The best way to determine the cleanliness and friendliness of the neighborhood is to walk around in it and meet its residents.
4. Visit the neighborhood at different times of the day and different days of the week. Are there people out and about in the neighborhood, walking, riding bikes, socializing?
A lot of these items cannot be adressed by your real estate agent because of Fair Housing but, as a Buyer, you can and should do your homework–taking the time to investigate will save you headache and hardship down the road. My clients are encouraged to visit the neighborhood and meet some of the neighbors. Discuss their likes and dislikes of their own neighborhood with the neighbors. Find the answers to some of your questions above.
Here are a few sites that I recommend to help you answer the questions above are:
Congratulations! You are now on the road to being able to narrow your list down to the neighborhood that you know you’ll enjoy living in for years to come!
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM * GIBSON MANAGEMENT GROUP, Ltd.
"...to be a Virginian, either by Birth, Marriage, Adoption, or even on one's Mother's side, is an Introduction to any State in the Union, a Passport to any Foreign Country, and a Benediction from the Almighty God...." Anonymous