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Location, Location, Location | Part 2
Earlier this week I started the conversation about how the location of your home is important to your overall happiness with your home. If you find a house that has everything on your must-have list, BUT you end up in a neighborhood that creates a much longer commute than you expected or you can hear the Interstate from your back porch, you might not enjoy your must-haves quite as much.
The following is a list of suggestions for narrowing down your search by inspecting each neighborhood where you have found a home you like:
• Drive and/or walk the neighborhood. Do this at different times of the day to get a feel for the people, traffic, and other activities. Are people out and about, or do they keep to themselves? Do the streets get backed up during rush hours?
• Drive/ride your would-be commute. Pick a morning and afternoon to take your route to and from work from the prospective neighborhood. Is this something you can live with day-to-day or would it add a lot of extra stress to your life?
• Talk to the neighbors. Ask about local parks, restaurants, and other areas of interest. Ask them their opinions of the neighborhood. Is there an HOA? If so, what are the costs, pros and cons?
• Research the zoned schools. Even if you don’t have children, this could be an important factor if you should ever try to sell this house in the future. Homes sell better in great school districts. If you do have kids, talk to other families with kids in those schools or go on a tour of the school. For a score report in the state of Tennessee, visit: http://www.tn.gov/education/reportcard/2013.shtml
HGTV’s Front Door Web site has these suggestions for using your senses to get a complete picture of the prospective community:
• Remember your first impression. What do you notice first about the neighborhood? Do the streets have curb appeal? Are the houses well-maintained? Do the shops and restaurants look hip and inviting? You'll want to feel good about where you call home and impress buyers when you're ready to move on.
• Look for warning signs. Be on the lookout for signs that the neighborhood is in trouble. Do you see abandoned buildings or vandalism? Are there a lot of "For Sale" signs or rentals? If the community goes downhill, so does your house's value.
• Stop and listen. Bird and nature sounds are generally pleasant, but what about noise from the highway, airport, hospital, train tracks or nearby clubs and bars? It's not very relaxing to listen to trains screech by during your morning coffee—especially not every morning.
There are many great neighborhoods in the Middle Tennessee area. Contact me and I’ll help you find the right fit for you and your family!