RoseAnn C. Spalt
ABR, CRS, SRES, PSA, SRS
License: 313898 MD
410-274-5850

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5 Tips to Help You Assess a Neighborhood

by RoseAnn C. Spalt 11/03/2021

Photo by David McBee from Pexels

When you’re considering where to build a new house, much of your focus will go into researching specific lots of land you might build on. While extensive due diligence into specific lots is certainly necessary and appropriate, don’t forget to consider the broader neighborhood the lots are in. Here are five tips to help you assess what a neighborhood is like.

1. Check Out the Area’s School District

Whether you have school-aged children or not, it's a good idea to look at the school statistics for your area. These statistics can have valuable insights into the market and may help you make a more informed decision if or when you decide to sell your home. If you do have school-aged children, the quality of the schools can typically be found within those same stats. No matter the reason for investigating the school areas around your neighborhood, the information is definitely worth a checking into.

2. Look for Newly Opened or Recently Closed Businesses

To gauge whether a neighborhood is growing or declining, take a drive around the nearest business districts. In particular, pay attention to how many recently opened or recently closed businesses you see. Newly opened businesses are a sign that the area is on the upswing, while freshly closed businesses could be an indicator of low to no economic growth in the area. Both factors can have pull on the value of your home in current and future markets.

3. Go for a Walk Around the Block

On a nice day, go for a walk around the neighborhood where you’re thinking of purchasing a lot. If you happen to see a potential neighbor, ask them a few questions about the neighborhood that would directly affect your lifestyle. If your walk is a more tranquil one, use the time to observe other homes and the grounds surrounding them. This will help you gauge the environment that your potential neighbors have cultivated in terms of community. It'll also give you a chance to examine other homes on the block that may be similar to yours. Have they withstood through the years? Do you see any hazardous trees lurking around? Does the atmosphere meet your criteria for your lifestyle? These are just a few of the important questions you want to ask yourself while you're on your walk.

4. Drive Around on a Weekend Night

A neighborhood can look very different during the day than at night, and you won’t want to gauge your feel for the neighborhood solely on your daytime walk. On a free day, go for a drive around the neighborhood both early in the evening and later at night. Do this a couple times and compare what you find to give yourself more of an overall picture of your possible new neighborhood.

5. Map Your Morning and Evening Commute

With the internet, it’s easy to gauge what your morning and evening commutes will be like. Map both of them out using an app or browser platform, setting the time for when you go to and from work. This will give you an accurate idea of how long you’ll be driving each weekday.

Gauge What a Neighborhood Is Like

If you have a location in mind for building a home, take some time to check out the neighborhood. Spending a little while making sure you like the area that you’ll be living in is well worth your while.

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