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How to Choose a Neighborhood  

Narrow your home search by identifying neighborhoods that are right for you. This helps keep your search focused and efficient. As your REALTORŪ, I can offer neighborhood information to guide you in your search.

When evaluating a neighborhood, you should investigate local conditions. Depending on your own particular needs and tastes, some of the following factors may be more important considerations than others:

  • quality of schools
  • property values
  • traffic
  • crime rate
  • future construction
  • proximity to schools, employment, hospitals, shops, public transportation, prisons, freeways, airports, beaches, parks, stadiums and cultural centers such as museums and theaters

Neighborhood Search Strategies for Limited Budgets

If you're a first time home-buyer with limited financial resources, it's wise to buy a home that meets your primary needs in the best neighborhood that fits within your price range. You can maximize your home purchase location by incorporating some of the following strategies into your neighborhood search:

  • Upcoming neighborhoods: Look for communities that are likely to become "hot neighborhoods" in the coming years. They can be discovered on the periphery of the most continuously desirable areas. Check for planned future development such as additional transit; new community services such as pools and theaters; and chain stores planning to move in. Look for a home in a good neighborhood that is a bit farther out of the city. If commuting is a concern, purchase a home that is close to public transportation.
  • Neighborhood demand: Look at the neighborhood demand by asking your real estate agent whether multiple offers are being made, whether the gap between the list price and the sale price is decreasing and whether there is active community involvement. You can also drive around the neighborhoods and see how many "sale pending" and "sold" signs there are in a particular area.
  • Co-ownership: Look into purchasing a condominium or co-op, rather than a house, in a desirable neighborhood. This way you still may be able to purchase in a prime area that you otherwise could not afford. In addition, condos make excellent rental properties, so you could potentially use your first purchase as an investment when you are ready to upgrade into a house.

Your Agent's Limitations

As your real estate agent, I can provide you with information concerning market values in neighborhoods you are considering and provide you with information on sources of other statistics. However, due to fair housing laws, I am limited in what other information I can provide, such as information on school performance, crime rates, census data, etc. Some ways to help you select the neighborhood that is right for you are:

  • Drive through "after hours": Take a tour through neighborhoods you are considering during evening and weekend hours, when most of the residents are home. This will give you an idea of the type of community you may be moving into.
  • Visit local schools: Visit the schools that service neighborhoods you are considering. Ask school personnel for reports concerning those schools' performances.
  • Contact local authorities: Local police departments can provide you with information concerning crime rates for neighborhoods you are considering. Also, your county's building permit department can provide you with information concerning permits for new construction that have been recently obtained by builders and developers.

For assistance locating potential neighborhoods in your price range, please contact us.

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Information appearing on or through this website is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and is subject to verification by all parties.   The data relating to real estate for sale on this web site comes in part from the Broker Reciprocity Program of Greater Augusta Association of Realtors. Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than VanderMorgan Realty are marked with the Broker Reciprocity logo and detailed information about them includes the name of the listing broker. Information provided is for consumer's personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. VanderMorgan Realty does not display the entire MLS database on this website. The listings of some real estate brokerage firms have been excluded.

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