10 Tips On How To Investigate A Neighborhood When Shopping For A Home

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

 

 

How To Investigate A Neighborhood You Might Want To Live In

 

When you buy a home you're also buying the neighborhood. That's why it's so important to research a potential neighborhood as thoroughly as you might inspect and do your research on a home. Being happy with your neighborhood is a major factor in avoiding buyer's remorse after you've moved into your new home. Here are 10 tips to investigate any neighborhood you might be interested in, as well as a list of apps and websites that will help you research neighborhoods, and a list of 9 signs that a neighborhood might be in decline.

 

 

    Tips To Investigate A Neighborhood  

 

 

 

Apps & Websites To Help You Research Neighborhoods

 

You can also take advantage of various smart phone apps and websites to help you learn more about neighborhoods. Some great apps include:

  • HomeFacts: this app provides information about a neighborhood's safety, including crime rates, registered sex offenders, school information and ratings, and earthquake and tornado risks.

  • Dwellr: this app utilizes Census Bureau data to provide some 40 different statistics about a community.

  • AroundMe: this app helps you locate close-by coffee shops, supermarkets, restaurants, pharmacies, etc.

  • AreaVibes: this website analyzes different cities and neighborhoods for crime rates,  weather, school ratings, amenities, and the local housing market. It report on neighborhood crime rate compared to the state and national average, as well as the neighborhood’s total crime rate. It also gives neighborhoods a “livability score” based on how they compare to other neighborhoods in all the areas it analyzes.

  • GreatSchools.org: families with school aged children can easily check out public and private school ratings with this website. The site also provides an app called GreatSchools Finder.

  • Family Watchdog: is a free sex offender registry website, which will also provide updates on on activity in neighborhoods of interest.

 

 

 

9 Tips On How To Spot A Neighborhood In Decline

 

When buying a home you always want to make certain that a neighborhood is not in decline. There are signs to look for that will help you determine if a specific area/neighborhood might just be on the down-swing:

  1. Property upkeep...check for signs of disrepair and neglect of the houses and yards neighboring the one you are considering, as well as the condition of houses on nearby streets. And don't forget to check out how public spaces (parks, playgrounds, etc.) are being maintained, as well.

  2. Vacant properties/foreclosed properties. Some are clearly visible, others not so much. Your real estate agent can help you identify these types of properties and help you determine if they represent a significant portion of the neighborhood or are simply exceptions to the overall neighborhood.

  3. Zoning changes. Zoning changes can impact the value of a property longer-term. Be sure to do your research on zoning changes or other development plans that might impact the neighborhood you are considering. Again, your real estate agent can provide assistance here, as well. A historically residential neighborhood now zoned for commercial activity is something you need to know about up-front. Expansion of roads adjacent to a home or neighborhood could also negatively impact the value of a home longer term.

  4. Store closings. If stores are closing and moving to adjacent neighborhoods that may be a sign that a neighborhood is in decline.

  5. Increasing property taxes. When the tax base of a municipality starts decreasing, taxes often increase to support those "left behind," but without any increase in actual services.

  6. Hospital closing. If a close-by hospital has closed or is closing its doors, just as with stores closing, it's a sign that the neighborhood may be in decline and the demographics no longer able to support this service.

  7. Rent signs. When you see a lot of "for rent" signs in a residential neighborhood it might well be an indicator that homes are not selling. And when a neighborhood's residents begin to lean toward renters versus homeowners, the nature of the neighborhood also changes and becomes more transient. And if you see homes being converted to apartments/multiple residences it's another sign that houses may not be selling in a neighborhood and that an influx of renters will change the tenor of the neighborhood down the line.

  8. For sale signs. A lot of "for sale" signs might be an indicator that homeowners are looking to move elsewhere. Your real estate agent can provide you with lots of information on sales and home price trends.

  9. School quality declining. Homes in neighborhoods with top-rated schools command a premium in price. When school quality declines in a neighborhood there is an impact on a neighborhood's home prices.

 

 

 

If you're searching for a Charlotte area home in a new neighborhood, you can:

SEARCH ALL CHARLOTTE METRO AREA HOMES HERE

 

 free home listing alerts from greathomesincharlotte.com

 

 

This information about how to investigate a neighborhood before you buy a home is provided by Nina Hollander and Carolinas Realty Partners with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, your Charlotte metro area residential real estate experts. We have been opening doors for Charlotte region home buyers for 20+ years. We can open the door to your dream home and dream neighborhood, too!

 

If you're considering purchasing a home in the Charlotte metro area, I'd love an opportunity to earn your business, to exceed your expectations, and to show you how:

 "The Right Broker Makes All The Difference."

 

 

Great Homes In Charlotte

 

 

 

First published at: https://greathomesincharlotte.com/buying/10-tips-to-investigate-a-neighborhood-before-buying-a-home/

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SEARCH ALL CHARLOTTE METRO AREA HOMES HERE

 

 Nina Hollander, RE/MAX Broker, Realtor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nina Hollander

Broker, Realtor, MBA, GRI, ABR, SRES, CDPE, SFR, SPS, CMRS
Carolinas Realty Partners with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Direct: 704-779-0813
Website: www.GreatHomesInCharlotte.com
Blog: News You Can Use From Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill
Search For All Charlotte Area Homes: www.GreatHomesInCharlotte.com 

2007 - 2019 Charlotte Magazine 5-Star Customer Satisfaction Award Winner

 

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Disclaimer:  Nothing in this blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, or financial advice.  For legal advice see an attorney.   For tax advice or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.

 

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Rainmaker
4,201,836
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Nina, great job on this post, and lots of valuable info for a buyer wondering if the neighborhood is right for them.

Jan 07, 2020 03:20 PM #7
Rainmaker
3,270,447
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Joan Cox hi Joan... that's why I always tell buyers they can't just pick a home from pictures on the web... they need to see it in the context of the neighborhood and all the surrounding areas, as well.

Jan 07, 2020 05:41 PM #8
Rainmaker
1,677,814
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

Great tips Nina Hollander . These tips are not ones I've ever read anywhere else.

Jan 07, 2020 07:13 PM #9
Rainmaker
3,033,151
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Nina.

As you know my wife and I are looking again for our last home.  I'm going to check out some of these sites, thanks for sharing

Jan 08, 2020 12:43 AM #10
Rainmaker
3,270,447
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Bob "RealMan" Timm good morning, Bob... thank  you. I'm delighted that you actually didn't say "been there, seen that, done that" after reading my post.

Jan 08, 2020 05:02 AM #11
Rainmaker
3,270,447
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

James Dray good morning, James. I'm glad you found this post useful in your home search. But in your shoes I'd probably call it a forever home... last home sounds so final! 

Jan 08, 2020 05:04 AM #12
Rainmaker
5,569,116
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

This is very good advice to share with prospective home buyers.

Jan 08, 2020 05:22 AM #13
Rainmaker
3,270,447
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Roy Kelley good morning, Roy... buyers really need to do their homework on neighborhoods and should ask for help from their agents. 

Jan 08, 2020 05:26 AM #14
Rainmaker
2,698,311
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

These are such great tips and buyers should definitely do some work with regard to finding out what the neighborhood is like when they find a home that they love.

Jan 08, 2020 06:20 AM #15
Rainmaker
2,025,390
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Nina - those are great ideas.  It certainly will help to avoid buyer's remorse.

Jan 08, 2020 06:35 AM #16
Rainmaker
3,270,447
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Brian England thanks, Brian. I've long felt that buyers don't do enough research on neighborhoods as compared with what they do on a house.

Jan 08, 2020 07:47 AM #17
Rainmaker
3,270,447
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Grant Schneider hi Grant, thanks. Interestingly, I've run into more sellers who want out of a neighborhood than they do out of a house.

Jan 08, 2020 07:48 AM #18
Ambassador
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George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Nina good advice.  I do not think Buyers consider doing many of these things, but I think more would if they given this information.

Jan 08, 2020 07:59 AM #19
Rainmaker
3,270,447
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

George Souto hi George... and as you know, there are lots of questions about neighborhoods that we as agents are prohibited from answering... so  buyers really do have to be willing to do some reasearch on their own.

Jan 08, 2020 08:17 AM #20
Rainmaker
1,296,353
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Nina Hollander,

You have given some great tips to those who might not be familiar with neighborhoods. You are also a great barometer for your area of Charlotte. 

One other thing I tell my clients who don't know an area is to go shop in the local market.  Visit a shopping center and check the main streets.  I actually visited during the seasons I thought might be an issue for me. Summer - I don't like humidity at all so I wanted to be Sedona during monsoon and found no issues.

Jan 08, 2020 12:38 PM #21
Rainmaker
3,270,447
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® thanks, Sheri. People seem to think that they can select homes from the web... homes, yes... neighborhoods, not so much.

Jan 08, 2020 01:02 PM #22
Rainmaker
571,906
Maria Gilda Racelis
Home Buyers Realty, LLC-Manchester, Bolton. Vernon,Ellington - Manchester, CT
Home Ownership is w/in Reach. We Make it Happen!

Hi Nina Hollander . I just shared this post on my FB wall. Requesting permission after posting. :) I believe this is important to avoid buyer's remorse.

Jan 09, 2020 05:18 AM #23
Rainmaker
3,270,447
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Maria Gilda Racelis thanks, Maria... no worries about permission. Share away. And thanks for the share. It's an important message in my mind... obviously, since I wrote the post!

Jan 09, 2020 05:47 AM #24
Ambassador
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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Nina- what good information for buyers who want to know more about a neighborhood that they're considering. 

Jan 10, 2020 06:15 PM #25
Rainmaker
3,270,447
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Kathy Streib hi Kathy... I think I've seen more people with buyer's remorse over a neighborhood than over a house. It's an important exercise.

Jan 11, 2020 05:13 AM #26
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