Choosing Your Ideal Neighborhood
If you’ve lived in the Hampton Roads area for a while, you may be familiar with many of the neighborhoods. However, if you’re coming here from another state or a distant city, finding the neighborhood where you and your family will feel most comfortable will take a little research.
In Newport News, for example, 55 percent of all residents are homeowners with a median household income of $47,889. Some have lived here for many years and others have come from places like California where housing prices have gone through the roof (read our Real Estate News column about a recent sale in Sunnyvale). Where do homeowners reside? Which areas are the most popular and why?
When you’re looking for a new home, it isn’t always about the house itself. As I’m sure you’ve heard many times, it’s about “location, location, location.” So, what should you consider when you’re looking for the perfect neighborhood? Here are four tips:
The geography of the area
Do you want to be near the water? Would you rather have a view of the woods? There are many kinds of vistas to consider. Be mindful of the fact that there are flood zones, which also brings up the subject of any special insurance you might need in addition to homeowner’s insurance, depending on where you want to settle.
The property taxes
As you probably know, property taxes must be figured into your budget as a homeowner, and they differ from place to place, county to county. I can help you determine the property taxes that relate to various listings.
Keeping your family safe is always top of mind. The Fair Housing Act prevents a REALTOR® from giving an opinion on this subject, since that might be seen as discriminatory. However, I can point you in the direction of resources that will help you make a decision about the safety of the neighborhoods you are considering when looking for a new home.
Quality of schools
Newport News boasts some top-rated schools, like Deer Park Elementary, Hilton Elementary and S.T. Washington Middle School. If schools are an important consideration, be sure you know which ones your children would attend if you reside in certain neighborhoods.
Make a check list
Choosing a community where you will meet new friends, where your children will grow up and where you can really feel comfortable is an extremely important decision. Be sure that the home you want to buy is in a neighborhood that meets most, if not all, the items on your check list.