How to Pick the Right Neighborhood to Buy Your Home
For Buyers

How to Pick the Right Neighborhood to Buy Your Home

By
Peter Kim
PUBLISHED
October 24, 2023

Finding the right neighborhood to buy your home is arguably just as important as the house itself. The easy part is finding a home that you like, but finding the right neighborhood is the hard part. Consider this saying, "A house is where you live, but a neighborhood is where you belong."

Every home buyer has different priorities, but these 10 factors consistently stand out as the most important when selecting the ideal neighborhood.

1. Proximity to Work

The commute from home to work and back has a big impact on your quality of life. A long commute wastes time and adds stress to your daily routine. Less travel time equals more personal time, better work-life balance, and improved well-being for you and your loved ones. Of course, if you work from the comfort of your home, this is not a concern.

Actionable Steps:

  • Use Google Maps to estimate commute time, it should ideally be between 30-45 minutes.
  • Consider public transportation options, if applicable.

2. Price

Your budget serves as the foundation of your home purchasing process. It's not just about the down payment, but also whether you can afford the monthly expenses. Sticking to your budget ensures you buy your home without sacrificing your financial stability.

Actionable Steps:

  • Calculate your budget using a debt-to-income calculator.
  • Stick to homes within your budget range during your search.

3. Safety

Safety is crucial, especially if you plan to have children. Ensuring the safety of your loved ones is not a choice; it is a necessity. Living in a safe area provides peace of mind. It allows you to focus on your life without worrying about your family's safety.

Actionable Steps:

  • Research crime rates and statistics for your chosen neighborhoods.
  • Reach out to local law enforcement for insights on safety.

4. School Districts

Whether you have kids or not, living in a school district known for its quality education is a good idea. Outstanding schools not only offer children better educational opportunities but also contribute to increasing the resale value of your property.

Actionable Steps:

  • Research school district ratings in potential neighborhoods.
  • Look in community forums to see what locals say about the schools in their neighborhood.

5. Proximity to Parents (If You Have Children)

Living near your parents may sound silly but having them nearby can be invaluable when raising your children. Their support can truly make your daily life more manageable and enjoyable.

Actionable Steps:

  • Consider the availability of nearby family members.
  • Evaluate their willingness and ability to assist with childcare.

6. Proximity to Pre-Existing Community

Community is essential. Having friends and family nearby can provide a support system, making life more enjoyable.

Actionable Steps:

  • Consider your existing social connections.
  • Evaluate how your chosen neighborhood aligns with your social life.

7. Proximity to Local Grocery Stores

Access to local grocery stores can save you time and effort, especially if you have a growing family. Trips to the grocery store could become very tiring if you end up going several times a week.

Actionable Steps:

  • Locate nearby grocery stores in potential neighborhoods.
  • Calculate the distance and evaluate convenience.

8. Proximity to City Life

For those who enjoy city life, living a short distance from the action can save you money in transportation and time.

Actionable Steps:

  • Evaluate the proximity of potential neighborhoods to city amenities.
  • Consider public transportation options for city visits.

9. Devoid of Red Flags

Look out for potential red flags like distance to power lines, highways, or cemeteries, as these factors can greatly impact your quality of life and your property value.

Actionable Steps:

  • Visit the neighborhood and evaluate the surroundings.
  • Research potential red flags and their impact on property value.

10. Having Good Neighbors

Good neighbors contribute to a positive living experience, as harmonious neighborly relations create a peaceful and enjoyable living environment.

Actionable Steps:

  • Observe your potential neighbors during visits.
  • Research online reviews or community discussions about the neighborhood.


Conclusion

Choosing the right neighborhood for your new home takes time, but it's an important process.

By considering the factors and taking actionable steps, you can confidently find the neighborhood that best aligns with your priorities.

About the Author

Peter Kim

Peter Kim is the owner of Odigo Real Estate Club, a leading real estate agency in the Greater Seattle area that specializes in residential, commercial, and luxury properties. With over 10 years of experience and a team of highly skilled agents, Peter brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the real estate space.

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