A home is only one part of a real estate transaction. Your real estate values are often determined not by your property itself, but by your neighborhood. If you're looking for a new home, there are some questions you should ask about the surrounding community.
1. What School District Will Service It?
You don't need to have kids to be worried about school districts. School districts are one of the easiest ways to find out whether a neighborhood (and therefore its homes) will be sought after. If you're going to be selling your home in the future, having a good school district in the area is going to be a tremendous selling bonus. Good schools often correlate to good neighborhoods.
2. How Many Renters Are There?
In general, neighborhoods with higher rental rates are lower in value than neighborhoods with a lot of owner occupants. If your neighborhood is built of primarily people who own their own homes, the homes are more likely to be well cared for. If your area is high in renters, you can expect to see lower property values. (Of course, this may also mean that you can get a deal.) You also want to get a feel for how many properties are vacant, as this can spell doom for a neighborhood.
3. How Many New Developments Are There?
New developments are a double-edged sword. New developments mean that an area is growing, and that's good news for your long-term property values. Short-term, though, it could mean a significant increase in housing inventory, which means it may be more difficult to sell your home within the next few years. This all depends on your plans and how long you're intending to hold on to the property.
4. What Are the Neighborhood's Amenities?
Don't underestimate the importance of having a grocery store, gym, or park nearby. A neighborhood's amenities don't just make your life a lot easier; they also make it easier for you to sell your home. Make a list of the things that you want in your neighborhood, from dog parks to restaurants. If your neighborhood doesn't have these nearby, you may find yourself doing a lot more traveling than you expected.
Your real estate agent will be able to give you an overview of different neighborhoods and find out more about the properties that suit your needs. The better your neighborhood, the more opportunity your investment has to grow. For more information, contact a local real estate company like The Freund Group.