What are the most important things to consider when looking for your new home?

Well, in most areas of the country, and particularly here in our metro, schools rule.

School systems determine value of property and desirability of location. I find that a little bit fascinating because we live so long now that kids are going to school for less than 20% of our adult lives. It seems like it shouldn’t have that much bearing on when you purchase, but it certainly has bearing on your resale value. For this reason, definitely consider the school system when buying a home.

You’ll also want to consider the neighborhood. You know, in all the years that I’ve sold real estate, I have never had anyone ask me to find them a home in a bad neighborhood. But almost every time they request a good neighborhood, I ask, “What does a good neighborhood look like to you?”

Is it a neighborhood that has great big trees, guttered streets, cul-de-sacs, few sex offenders, or is at low risk of flooding? What is a good neighborhood? That’s in the eye of the beholder.

One thing that is important to most folks is low crime statistics. You can find such statistics online, but I do caution you to check the crime stats in the area you live in now—look within a half-mile radius of where you live, or near a family member’s home, and be sure to look within a longer time period (the past six months to a year). Ask yourself what it is you’re looking for.

“If it is important to you, be sure to do your research.”

Suppose there is an apartment complex nearby—there is a concentration of people that are not in a neighborhood, so you’re going to have a higher crime statistic (maybe not per capita, but just for geographic area). Also take note of what types of crime happened. If several minor infractions of vandalism occur in a short period of time, the area will look like it has a much higher crime rate. Or maybe it’s an area that has broad-spread statistics and serious violent crimes are occurring. Only you can be the judge of how important these statistics are to you.

The age of the house, or the major components of the house, can be a very important thing to look at. We live in an area of extreme weather conditions, so roofs, in particular, are important. Get a professional to look at this for you for any house you’re going to purchase—and always talk to your insurance agent before you call in an inspection.

Lastly, look at the property condition disclosure; see if there’s been any flooding, termite treatment, criminal activity, or something similar in the house. If it is important to you, be sure to do your research.

Thanks for tuning in, and we’ll have more next week. If you have a question for me or need professional real estate advice do give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!