What is the the right neighborhood for you? We can google “what makes the perfect neighborhood” and come up with lists and opinions, rules and demographic driven data. But what makes a perfect neighborhood for you may not make a perfect neighborhood for me. However, there are some factors to consider, some questions to ask yourself, and the realization that something is probably going to have to give. To get that small town charm you may have to commute a little further. To get the perfect penthouse view, you may have to compromise on space. What must you have and what can you forgo? Asking some of the tough questions up front will help focus your search, but be prepared to re-evaluate as you go.
Start by asking yourself – “what do I want in my neighborhood?” What type of home are you looking for – single family, townhouse, condo? Are you looking for something that is new and move in ready, or would a house within an historic area that might require sizeable repairs, or have strict guidelines be more to your taste? How far are you willing to commute – is public transportation an option? How far are you willing to travel for stores, bank, restaurants and other conveniences? What about green space – dog parks and jogging trails? How much noise, light and activity are you willing to bear, or is “the livelier the better?”
When out looking at neighborhoods think like the investor you are about to become. If and when you sell your home, what is the resale value going to be in your chosen neighborhood? Buyers look at schools, taxes, amenities and safety – so should you. But perhaps most importantly – can you picture yourself living there – the “perfect” neighborhood on paper is not so perfect if it isn’t a fit for who you are and how you live. Visit a neighborhood at various times – see for yourself the energy, sights, sounds and smells, throughout the day. Are the streets heavily trafficked, are the college kids loud, are people friendly, is the coffee shop open late, is there a community center?
A good real estate agent is just the start for finding answers to some of these questions. Talk to your friends, colleagues, shop owners, and folks at the farmer’s market. Do some research on the schools, town planning boards, local developers and local crime statistics. Don’t be shy — buying a home is a major investment, and feeling at home is “priceless!”
Have you found your perfect neighborhood in Syracuse or the surrounding communities? What helped you make that final decision and what questions do you wished you had asked? We’d love to not only hear about what makes your neighborhood great, but we’d love to see pictures too. Please share your home buying stories, and the found gems of your new neighborhood.