Neighborhood Know-How: When to Redirect Your Home Search
You’ve found your dream home, and you’re ready to make an offer. Not so fast. Have you taken a closer look at the neighborhood, too? Just because you’ve found the perfect home doesn’t mean the neighborhood will be on par. Before signing on the dotted line, here are some of the signs to look for to know when it’s time to redirect your home search.
There’s too much inventory.
Sure, the spring season is when homes are most often put on the market, but if you see a long line of homes ready to be sold, this could be a sign that you should redirect your home search. Too many ‘For Sale’ signs in a single neighborhood could mean a number of things, such as older residents downsizing or moving to a retirement home. Perhaps the neighborhood is seeing a turnaround, increasing in value, and homeowners simply want to sell their home for a great profit. Or it’s for negative reasons, such as increased crime rates or traffic in what used to be a safer, quieter place to live. Whatever the reason, make sure to do the research before putting in your offer on a whim.
There are several retail spaces empty or for rent.
While you might not think twice seeing empty storefronts or other retail spaces with ‘For Rent’ signs in the windows, think again. Too many empty shops essentially equate to the decreased disposable income of the surrounding neighborhood. What does all of this mean? When residents are unable to afford supporting the local businesses, this leads to them not being able to keep up with the typical expenses of a homeowner, e.g. taking care of the lawn and other upkeep, monthly bills, or even the mortgage. And if these homeowners cannot keep up with the aforementioned items, this could develop into foreclosed homes or simply unkempt homes, which negatively affect their property value as well as their neighbor’s.
There’s no pride in ownership.
Look around at your surroundings. Do you see a lot of overgrown yards and garden beds, yards littered with extra cars and belongings, or homes with signs of disregard for its appearance? These signs should tell you that it’s time to redirect your home search. When there’s no pride in ownership of their homes, property value doesn’t just decrease for those neighbors, but it also affects others, as mentioned before. And if you see any flickering outdoor lights or flooding in the streets from a light rain, these electrical and water issues are something to be even more concerned about as they mean two things. For one, the homeowners are not maintaining their homes. And two, these signs could lead to major (and expensive) issues later down the road.