What makes a Good Neighborhood?

Real Estate Agent

What Makes a Good Neighborhood?


When you buy a house, you also invest in the neighborhood that surrounds it. The identity of a neighborhood may be as important to property values as the individual properties themselves. In a “planned community”, strictly controlled architecture governs a carefully crafted identity block after block. In a rural town, tree-lined streets and an old-fashioned town square preserve a disappearing way of life. In a large city, an older neighborhood's ethnic history has shaped its character and often drives its rejuvenation. It's important towhat makes a good neighborhood know where a neighborhood has been - and where it's going - before you decide to buy.


1. Start with Statistics

It's now possible to get valuable neighborhood statistics online. Crime statistics, school scores and demographic information are all readily available.  Check the village websites for specific information on the town as a whole. Park Districts are important and so are the schools in a particular community so study these carefully.  Demographics can now be found by zipcode here.


2. Check with the City or Village Hall

You can get any kind of town planning document from your town or county's zoning and/or planning authorities. If you want to be sure that the rural hideaway you just bought stays rural, check with these officials. They start planning large projects like major road construction years from the actual start date.


3. Research the Resale Potential

The quality of the neighborhood will play a big role in your home's resale value—whether you live in the least or most expensive house on the block. (It’s better to have the smallest house in the best community). Checkout the neighborhood for job growth and home appreciation numbers in the area you're interested in.  Get a list of homes for sale in the neighborhood from your real estate agent to determine how many days they've been on the market. If properties haven't been selling quickly, find out whether the market is slow or if there are neighborhood issues that may make resale difficult.


4. How can I Find Neighborhoods on the Rise?

Start looking for tomorrow's hot neighborhoods right on the edge of today's most desirable, well-established neighborhoods. These tangential neighborhoods are frequently next in line to experience a surge in prices.

Look for these signs of increasing popularity:

  • Multiple offers on homes for sale
  • An increase in the number of buyers moving in from other areas
  • An increase in the number of local residents trading up within the neighborhood
  • A decrease in the percentage of renters
  • Signs of remodeling


Get to Know the Community Yourself

what makes a good neighborhoodIt may sound like a cliché, but nobody knows a neighborhood like the people who live and work there every day. Visit a neighborhood on your own at different times of day and night. Talk to neighbors. Visit nearby schools and local businesses.  Small local papers & the internet can be chock-full of information that gives you a feel for the neighborhood or community. If you depend on public transportation, find out how accessible it is in this area. Drive to and from the house from several different directions, so you see both the scenic and not-so-scenic routes.  Plan how long it will take for your daily commute.


You're also going to find out that where your family & friends currently live is the best place to buy 'according to them'.


Do your own research & decide for yourself where you would like to live.



Posted by


  Lyn Sims    Schaumburg IL Area    Northwest Chicago Suburbs  ●  (847)962-7104

Comments (7)

Ed (Edward) Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Picking the right location for a family requires a lot of legwork on the part of the buyers.  We often can give them just the sales statistics, and that would be our limitation.

Feb 22, 2021 02:17 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Lyn, great post with valuable information for buyers trying to make a decision on where in a city to live.

Feb 22, 2021 02:57 PM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

You have touched on so many important aspects of neighborhood desirability and livability for potential buyers. Well done Lyn!

Feb 22, 2021 06:22 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Great tips, Lyn. There are some things that are very "tangible" about neighborhoods that one can do research on and then there are those things that are less "tangible." Sort of like buying a house... people fall in love with a house and can't always articulate why. I think the same happens with neighborhoods. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Feb 23, 2021 04:26 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Lyn Sims - What a great post. There is only one thing that boggles my mind - Why hasn't this been FEATURED??? 

I don't understand how something this important, having something very important to do with our Real Estate business gets skipped; yet information about AR Rosters and stuff anyone can ask on the Q&A or an Ambassador or has already been featured with the same information 9,000 times or more, or why anyone can't read the AR rules and figure it out themselves get featured but a really good source of information for consumers doesn't??? I just don't get it!

Mar 02, 2021 09:12 PM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes™- by eXp Realty - Vancouver, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Such great advice, Lyn Sims. It's really important for people to do some upfront research prior to making a purchase. Your guidelines could save some could of, would of, should of, later on in the game. 

Mar 04, 2021 12:23 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Lyn - that is sound advice.  I know that everyone with children finds out about the schools but wouldn't be great to find out about everything and then know where exactly you would love to buy.

Mar 15, 2021 05:35 AM