Location, Location, Location! – How to Choose the Best Neighborhoods


It is all too often when searching for a property that the neighborhood is considered secondary & often overlooked when you initially find that dream home. Here are some reasons that we think it remains as important as the property itself.

#1: Know your neighborhood

Although a neighborhood may have an incredible reputation, you have to be mindful that the area can stretch miles & vary drastically from one end to the other. If you have your heart set on a home, be sure to drive around / Google the area & check for;

  • Grocery stores
  • Pharmacies 
  • Nurseries & schools
  • Colleges
  • Parks & Activity centers 
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels 
  • Clinics & Hospitals
  • Commute times
  • Natural disaster risks

#2 Commute times

If you want to be really organized people often make venn diagrams of each workplace and the where the new home is to try and get an overview of the commute times. Setting a 30 minute radius around the proposed home gives a good overview of your new neighborhood. If you are interested in working remotely from home, why not consider an extra bedroom or a converted garage to eliminate a commute entirely. 

#3 Property Taxes

Property taxes can greatly differ from neighborhood to neighborhood making it a key point of your property research. All too often these forgotten fees can creep on your budget & make that dream home more expensive & potentially over budget. Being focused on your monthly payment, be sure to estimate your property taxes.

#4 Schools & Safety

When comparing your price range & list of priorities, it is always advisable to expand potential neighborhoods. Comparing schools & public facilities is a great strategy for families looking for the perfect head start in life for their loved ones. Crime rates are equally important, check local news for break ins & 2nd home areas to better your knowledge of a neighborhood. 

Getting a feel for the area can be done well in advance of searching for a home, take your partner or friend for brunch or dinner & get a sense of what it would be like to live there. A great real estate agent can also give you greater insights into new neighborhoods you are considering before making that big purchase. 

Schools are always best to be researched online. Schooldigger.com & Greatschools.org are great resources when looking for ranks & reviews from governing bodies & parents themselves. You can also get more info from local jurisdiction sites. Crime-mapper tools from the police department are a good place to start if safety is of great concern to you. 

#5 Resale Value

Resale value is a key part of making your dream home an investment. Looking at the neighborhood areas that have seen a increase in property value over the last few years is a good place to start. Planned construction is something to be mindful of when deciding on your property, if there is public works in the area which are due to be finished in 5 years, it’s best to make sure you are not planning to sell within that time & see the constraints that this can cause. In many ways it can be a positive if the construction is to add services of value to the neighborhood & surrounding properties. Local government websites generally have all the information on planned commercial development. 

#6 Choosing the right realtor

Lastly & most importantly, It helps to work with a reputable real estate agent like Jeff Underdahl who has 28 years of experience in the North County area helping property owners uncover all costs associated with buying a home. Jeff & his team bring deep knowledge on the areas and communities across North County to help you in making that dream home purchase.

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