Howdy, Neighbor – Top Tips for Finding the Perfect Neighborhood

Find the perfect community for you. Pictured: The entrance to The Oaks.

Whether buying or renting a home, it’s imperative to be selective about the neighborhood you may be moving into. Luckily, the Sarasota area has a number of distinct neighborhoods from which to choose. From elegant communities sited around neatly manicured golf courses to modest gated neighborhoods offering an assortment of activities and amenities, the Sarasota area is brimming with choices to please just about any taste. In fact, you can find out all about them HERE.

One of the biggest mistakes a new homebuyer can make is the failure to thoroughly investigate the neighborhood of their new residence. To help avoid this possible issue, here are our top tips for finding the perfect neighborhood:

Identify – Decide which area amenities are most important to you, then identify and list the amenities that near the neighborhood you are considering as your new residence. Keep in mind what distances and routes to each of these places are acceptable and what are not.

Take a Walk – Walk around in the neighborhood. The best way to determine the cleanliness and friendliness of the neighborhood is to walk around in it and meet its residents. Are homes tidy and well maintained? Are streets quiet? Pick a warm day if you can and chat with people working or playing outside to get an even better feel for the neighborhood.

Market Activity – Have your Realtor identify recent sales in the community. Find out if the market is slow and what homes have been selling for. Also take a look into what homes are listed in the area, and are they listed above past sales? This will give you a good idea of the area’s overall market value.

A Safe Bet – Find out if the neighborhood is safe. Ask the police department for neighborhood crime statistics. Consider not only the number of crimes but also the type such as burglaries or armed robberies and the trend of increasing or decreasing crime.

Full of Appreciation – Ask your real estate agent to get information about price appreciation trends in the neighborhood. Although past performance is no guarantee of future results, this information may give you a sense of how good an investment your home will be.

School is in – Check out the school district. The Department of Education can provide information on test scores, class size, percentage of students who attend college, and special enrichment programs. If you have school-age children, also consider paying a visit to schools in the neighborhoods you’re considering.

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