You're Buying a Neighborhood, Not Just a Home
When you're shopping for a new house, it's important to remember that in some ways you're not just buying a single property. You're buying and moving into a street and a neighborhood. Your new home doesn't exist in a vacuum. You have neighbors, other homes on your block, and a neighborhood overall that you're joining. There are a few things you need to keep in mind and learn about when you're considering moving into a new location. Here are a few of these things.
You Can't Control Everything
One of the downsides to this concept is that most everything that goes on outside of your property is also outside of your control. For example, your street may be very busy at certain times of the day. There could also be a lot of noise on the weekends. You may find that one or even both of your neighbors are not exactly people you enjoy living next to. Unfortunately, there's nothing you can really do about any of this. Sometimes, you don't even know these issues are coming.
Learn the Neighborhood
Before you sign any paperwork, take the time to learn your new potential neighborhood if you can. Obviously, this might not be possible if you're making a long distance move since you might only be in town long enough to view some properties. If you can, though, drive through the area at several times of the day and night. Try to visit during the times you'd go and get home from work. Also go by around the time you usually go to sleep to listen for loud noises. Visit on the weekends, too, to see what the street will be like.
Consider the Street
Some people don't really think about the actual street they will be living on, but they should. One issue you might run into is a narrow street. This is especially true in some older neighborhoods. Look at where your neighbors across the street park. Are they on the street? If so, are they directly behind your driveway? That can make it difficult to back out. Are there cars on both sides of the street nearly parallel to each other? That might make it difficult to maneuver a large vehicle in between them. These might not be deal breakers, but they are things you should be aware of.
Think About the Other Homes
Few people really think about what their new home's property value will be like in several years. If you know you're going to be selling the house, though, it is something to consider. Even if you're not, you do want to think about how your new home will look on the street as a whole. Do you see houses with peeling paint and overgrown yards? If so, it's a sign that your new neighbors don't exactly keep their properties in great shape. On the other hand, if every house appears immaculate, you know you're going to need to keep up your own house. You don't want to be the one everyone else accuses of causing property values to drop.
Learn About Your Legal Rights
There's nothing you can do about a lot of these issues. You can ask your neighbors if they wouldn't mind parking their car away from your drive or see if those who like loud music could keep it down after a certain time at night. Other than that, you may find yourself investing in earplugs. Your other option is to learn about the laws in your new city. Most have noise ordinances that state loud music cannot be played after a certain time. Others may allow you to report homes that are in need of repair or that have overgrown yards.
When it comes to all of these factors, don't be afraid to rely on your real estate agent to find you the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood. Every location is different, but these experts have a feeling for neighborhoods after selling homes for so long. They can help you find a quiet place where you're not likely to be disturbed, a neighborhood that's great for children, or a new home on a street that welcomes diversity. If you identify as LGBTQ, you may definitely be looking for a welcoming location. An agent who is also a part of the community will be able to point you in the right direction. You can find LGBT real estate agents by using www.GayRealEstate.com, a website dedicated to LGBT real estate professionals.