How to Choose the Right Neighborhood
100 Real Estate Tips in 100 Days (Day 42)
There are really 3 critical factors involved in selecting the right house for you and/or your family to make a home. Curiously, the last of these factors is the house. The first decisions you must involve the selection of the correct financing for your situation. That subject is discussed in depth in another post this blog. The second critical factor is choice of neighborhood, or potential neighborhoods, and then the choice of the appropriate house can be made. In any large city such as Denver, selecting the neighborhood can seem a daunting task, especially for anyone not familiar with the city. In reality, neighbor selection is not that difficult.
Before you can select neighborhoods or subdivisions, you must ask yourself a few basic questions. We offer a few of the big questions below, listed in the order we think work best for most prospective homebuyers, but the priorities are really yours to choose. Just remember, when your Realtor® starts asking the questions offered below, it’s not because your Realtor® is nosy, it is really just a professional approach toward determining the best way to help you in making the neighborhood decision.
1.) Location of employment and desired commuting time. If your employer is located in the Denver suburb of Broomfield, located northwest of the city, if may not make sense to live in Highlands Ranch and suffer a one hour commute each way, and vice-versa.
2.) Schools are the next big issue for those with children. Even if there are no children, schools are important because school quality affects property values and property taxes. In Colorado, school quality can be researched by linking to the CSAP Scores.
3.) Quality of Life issues. If you really like to use mass transit, you would do well to locate near a Light Rail Line, or bus route. If you have horses, then you want acreage, or close proximity to boarding stables. Is your life focused on sports, or supporting you children in their activities? Do you want to be in close to a public recreation center, or hospital? Do you like to walk to shopping and restaurants? All of those questions need to be considered.
4.) Friends and relatives. Some people want to close to or far away from their families or friends. If your childless sister lives in a less than desirable school district, and you have 2 children in elementary school, you need to include those factors in your decision process.
5.) Style of home. If you are a young, hip, single and are attracted by the excitement of the LODO lifestyle, then you may want a loft or condo downtown. That may be equally true if you are empty nesters no longer interested in mowing the grass. If you have children, you may need a lot of square feet and play space, or desire a ranch style plan because you hate stairs.
6.) Price range. You may choose to place this question first, but the fact is Metro Denver has a wide variety of price ranges spread more or less equally all over the area. Whether you price range is $250,000 or $1,000,000, there are many neighborhoods from north to south that will have the price range you seek.
7.) Age of house. Do you want a brand new home? Or a quaint Victorian? Is new infill your desire, or brand new planned communities on the edge of the city? In general, new homes tend be in the outer reaches, potentially affecting commute time, while the older homes are located in Denver proper.
Well, there a 7 major criteria to start with. Your particular situation may reflect other factors that are very important to you. One element of your agents job is to synthesize those factors and help you search in just the right neighborhoods for you.
It is surprising really, considering that at any given time there may be 20 to 30 thousand homes available for sale in the Denver area market, that, after all is considered, there really not all that many houses that you will want to consider as your home.
About the Author
Kristal has been helping buyers and sellers in Colorado since 1984. She enjoys sharing her knowledge of the Metro Denver Real Estate market via blogging and in person while driving around the beautiful Rocky Mountain town of Denver! For fun, Kristal enjoys shooting things with a Canon. Visit Denver Photo Blog