When you’re looking to buy a home, you’re not just evaluating the home itself; you’re also looking at all that surrounds the home – the people, the streets, the stores and more.

You see, living in a home is so much more than what goes on between those four walls. It’s what your home offers you access to – the security it offers, the education it can provide your children, and a million other things in between.

In a nutshell? It’s the neighborhood.

A property’s neighborhood will play a huge role in your qualify of life once you buy a home. It will determine if you’re safe, if you’re healthy, even if you’re happy.

Do you want to make sure you’re choosing the right neighborhood for your new home? Here are the most popular features buyers look for:

  1. Safety – You should feel safe and secure in your own home, so look for neighborhoods with low crime rates – both property and violent crimes. You can also check for neighborhood watch programs, or even stick to only gated, secured communities if safety is a huge concern.
  2. A pool – Certainly not a must-have, but a neighborhood pool can be a great amenity for the whole family. It gives you somewhere to exercise, to cool down in the hot summer months, or just somewhere to let off some steam and have a little fun (without spending any cash!)
  3. A playground – Another nice-to-have amenity, this feature is big for families with kids. Sure, you could set up a swing set in your own backyard, but what’s better than heading down to the local park and playing with other kids yours age? It encourages an active lifestyle, and it keeps the kiddos happy and social.
  4. Good schools – This one’s big with parents, too. If you’ve got little ones (or plan to have some in the future), always check into the school district your neighborhood is served by. How are the schools rated? What are their testing scores like? How do parents and community members feel about the campuses? Head to GreatSchools.org for good insight.
  5. Trails and sidewalks – Sidewalks and trails not only keep you and your family members safe from speeding cars, but they also give you a place to exercise, walk the dog, ride bikes or get in a run. They’re a huge plus whether you have kiddos or not.
  6. Great location – You should also take into account your neighborhood’s proximity to things like grocery stores, schools, restaurants and entertainment venues. How far do you want to drive to get to all those things? Do you want them within a walkable distance? Also, pay attention to the community’s proximity to major highways. If you’re a commuter, you don’t want to add extra time to your morning or afternoon drives by choosing the wrong neighborhood!
  7. Reliable, friendly neighbors – The neighbors you have can make or break your living experience. With good ones, you have people you can rely on to watch your home, water your plants and feed your cat while you’re away, and with bad ones, you’re stuck on an island, feeling alone, unsafe and vulnerable. Take some time to introduce yourself to a few neighbors before you consider purchasing a home. It can tell you a lot!
  8. Curb appeal – No one wants to live in a neighborhood that’s run-down and poorly cared for. You want visitors to see well-maintained lawns, pretty flower beds and happy-looking homes as they drive up to your house, not dilapidated, disheveled properties that look abandoned.
  9. Resale value – This is big if you don’t plan on staying in the home for that long, as it will determine how much you stand to make when you sale your property at a later date. Neighborhoods that are in demand, still building new properties, well-cared for and with a good location typically offer high resale value, meaning you’ll get plenty of return on your investment when the time comes. Communities in unsafe areas or with poorly maintained properties will result in just the opposite.

These are just a few of the major neighborhood features that buyers look for. Take a few minutes to write down what community amenities are important to you and your loved ones, and make a list to share with your realtor before starting your home search.Need help finding the perfect property in the perfect location? Contact The Claus Team today. We’re here to help every step of the way.