You’re probably familiar with the old saying: “The three most important things in real estate are location, location, and location.” A home’s stats are important—the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage—and you want your new home to meet all your “have to haves” and some of your “nice to haves.” But beyond those specs, an equally important factor is where the home is located. To shop a neighborhood, list the factors important to you. Here are some that most people look at:

Taxes and Insurance. Comparable homes only a block from each other can have very different property values, and therefore very different tax bills and insurance premiums. Those costs are typically paid monthly, along with your mortgage payment, so make sure they fit within your budget.

School District. This is important if you have school-aged kids you send to public school. But even if you are without children, the school district rating can directly affect home values and the size of your pool of home buyers when you decide to sell.

HOAs. Homes in Home Owners Association (HOA) neighborhoods often take care of things like lawn care and snow removal. But in exchange, you will pay an HOA fee each month and will have to abide by some rules.

Noise level. If you want peace and serenity, avoid neighborhoods near city centers. But if you like to throw an outdoor party, you might not want a home in a quiet neighborhood or one that has HOA noise rules.

Crime Rate. Check this out, but be sure to compare local rates to overall U.S. crime rates to keep the numbers in context.

Closeness to Town Center. Decide if it’s important to be close to shopping, restaurants, groceries, gyms, and other amenities. Is neighborhood walkability a necessity? Do you need to be close to public transportation? Is proximity to your job a big factor?

As your real estate agent, we’re well-versed in local markets. Please ask us about the amenities that are important to you. In addition, check out local online communities, and simply walk down the street to get a feel for the neighborhood. If you catch a resident outside, ask how they like living in the area.

Thinking of selling or buying a home? Please text, call, or email us to learn about your best options today!