So you think you’ve found the perfect house. It has everything that you need and more, including that incredible walk-in closet that you’ve been dreaming about for years. However, don’t be so quick to make an offer. When you buy a house, you’re also buying a neighborhood. Here are four important questions you should ask before you submit an offer:

  1. Does the Neighborhood Fit Your Lifestyle? If you tend to go out at night and enjoy the nightlife, then living in a downtown area would be more suitable probably. However, if you have small children and the nightlife isn’t your thing… maybe schools district is your next question.
  2. What school district is this neighborhood? Depending on the age of you children, you’ll want to do some research on the schools in that district. I recommend checking what type rating each specific school in your district has received. Schools are rated on a scale 1 – 10 by the State. They look at proficiency and performance and how each school measures up to the other schools across the State.
  3. Is there an HOA (Home Owners Association)? If so, how much are the monthly/annual dues? When asking about the HOA, it’s good to talk with the President or others that are involved in running the HOA. Ask about community events, workdays, and most importantly… what, if anything is expected of you as a new resident. It also can’t hurt to talk to other residents and learn what their opinions are of the HOA and how it’s run?
  4. How well do the home values compare to other neighborhoods in the immediate vicinity? Is your neighborhood above or below the values of other neighboring communities? And has your neighborhood taken steps through the HOA and community center to raise home values as much as possible? It’s a positive sign if the majority of your neighbors spend time and money keeping their property nice. It’s also a negative if there’s a lot of residents neglecting their homes and property. These factors can affect your home value in the future.

You can search for homes by neighborhood in our advanced search feature on this website.

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Hopefully these 4 questions will be a good start for you when narrowing down your perfect dream home. There’s a lot of other questions that may need to be answered, depending on your personal preferences, age and whether or not you have children.

However, the smartest thing you can do when assessing whether you want to buy in a certain neighborhood is to work with an established Realtor, just like Melissa Smith. Melissa has over 16 years experience helping home buyers like yourself to find their dream home, and dream neighborhood. Contact Melissa today.