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6 questions to ask when finding and moving to a new neighborhood

Finding the right neighborhood is as important as, if not more important than finding a good home. Your chosen neighborhood will determine how comfortable your life will be, so make sure it fits with your lifestyle and everyday needs. “Location, location, location” isn’t a popular real estate mantra for nothing, after all.

To help you choose a good neighborhood, here are 6 questions to ask:

  1. How far will standard conveniences be from you?
  2. You’ll want to live in an area where you can easily get your everyday needs in a snap. With that, pick a neighborhood with close access to vital community conveniences like banks or groceries. And when emergencies arise, you’ll want to make sure hospitals and clinics are within your vicinity.

    If you have kids, you have to consider nearby schools and playgrounds. You must be confident in the quality of learning in the neighborhood school and the safety of the play areas because these are places your kids will be frequenting.

    An ideal neighborhood should also have sources of recreation within your reach. You’ll need your malls, bars, restaurants, and arcades for those days when you just want to kick up your heels for some fun with friends, family, or on your own.

  3. What is the commute like?
  4. Travel time is one factor you should never overlook when looking for a new neighborhood. You’ll want it to be as quick and convenient as possible to and from destinations that you and your family will be frequenting. Look into various routes and whether it will be easier to take the bus or the train.

    If you’re looking for an easy commute to Downtown Tacoma, consider a neighborhood like North Tacoma and East Tacoma. These neighborhoods not only offer easy access to the downtown area but also to Seattle.

  5. Is it a safe place?
  6. Safety should always be one of your top priorities when moving to a new neighborhood, especially if you have kids. Check out the crime stats of your preferred neighborhood online by simply typing the name of the area and “crime statistics” on your favored browser.

    You can also head to the local police department for information regarding crime stats. They will also be able to suggest standard neighborhood safety measures.

  7. How much are the homes?
  8. Aside from its utilitarian purpose of providing you shelter, your home also serves as a hard-earned investment. Take all things into consideration regarding a potential home’s true value. Find a neighborhood where values of homes there are predicted to rise in the next five to ten years due to developments in the area. That way, you are guaranteed to earn great profits in the future the moment you decide to put your home up for resale.

    Homes in North End in Tacoma, for example, are worthwhile investments as their values have been on the rise for almost 10 years. Experts still predict more upticks in the future, although not as steep as before with the impact of foreclosures bearing down on the market.

  9. How many homes are occupied?
  10. The rate of homeownership in a neighborhood can tell you several things about it. For one, a neighborhood filled with occupied residences indicates that it is worth the investment. This is the type of neighborhood you’ll want to live in since high demand promotes development. This, in turn, leads to an increase in home values.

    On the other hand, neighborhoods with high vacancy rates could mean low desirability. Whatever the reason is for the lack of desirability (poor housing standards, high crime rates, a location far from day-to-day conveniences, etc.), communities like this may not see much development in the future. However, there could still be some saving grace for them, especially if these neighborhoods are located near well-developed areas.

  11. Is there future development?
  12. You know you have a real estate investment winner in your hands when you find a neighborhood with several infrastructure projects and constructions along the pipeline. Plans for new structures like schools, hospitals, and commercial buildings can have a huge impact on home values. These make the neighborhood and surrounding areas much more desirable, so don’t hand out any offer without first doing your research.

    It’s continuous developments like these that make a city like Tacoma an increasingly great place to live in. If you want more information, head to the local city hall or simply ask your real estate agent.

Discover the best homes for sale in Tacoma, WA with the help of an experienced Realtor like me, Lori Lewandowski. Give me a call today at 253.617.5922 or send me an email at lorilewandowski(at)gmail(dotted)com. You can also leave me a message here.