You have an active and social family. Your real estate agent shows you homes in a neighborhood with no sidewalks. Should you live here?
Sidewalks might seem like an unnecessary perk, but they're an important indication of social, family-friendly neighborhoods.
You've always wanted to live near the beach, and you found a foreclosure in the perfect location just below your budget. But because of its location, the property taxes make it more than your current monthly mortgage payment. Should you live here?
Property taxes will only increase as the value of your home grows, which could put the monthly payment out of your budget and get you potentially behind on your loan.
You drove through a neighborhood once on your lunch break and fell in love with the look and quietness. Should you live here?
Lunchtime isn't the best indicator of a neighborhood's noise level, as most people are at work and children are in school. You should at least make several more visits before you make any decisions.
Should someone who does not want to have kids consider school zones in their neighborhood choice?
Even if you don't plan to have children, the school zone you choose will have a great affect on your home's resale value.
True or False: If you see a neighborhood with lots of kids playing in the street, it's a good choice for a family with children.
Although it shows the neighborhood is kid-friendly, it may also mean there are no parks or other children activities nearby.
You found a neighborhood in a great school zone, with a low crime rate and lots of amenities nearby, but it will double your commute to work. Should you live here?
Your commute should be in the top five criteria for choosing a new neighborhood. The added distance to your twice-a-day commute makes this neighborhood a bad choice.
You've visited a neighborhood at all different times of the day, and it is always quiet, which is essential for your at-home job. Even though it doesn't have the bike trails nearby you hoped for, should you live here?
For someone who works at home, noise level should be a top priority, and recreation amenities, like bike trails, should be optional on your must-have list.
True or False: Sidewalks should be on your list of criteria for a great neighborhood.
Not only do sidewalks make a neighborhood more active, they also greatly increase your safety if you plan to walk anywhere nearby. Sidewalks should definitely be on your list.
You found a great neighborhood with a low crime rate, great schools, lots of amenities and it's right by your office. But, it's family-oriented and you wanted a hip, urban feel. Should you live here?
Although the neighborhood has everything you should be looking for, it isn't the type of lifestyle and culture you were looking for. You'll never be happy if you compromise on this all-important criteria.
True or False: A street full of foreclosures isn't a warning sign of a bad neighborhood; it's proof you're getting a great deal on a home.
Too many foreclosures, "for rent" signs and empty houses will likely bring your home's value down when it should be increasing.
On your first drive through a neighborhood, you notice an unusual smell. You visit three other times that week, and the odor is absent. Should you live here?
A funny smell is a serious warning sign. Even if you only noticed it once, you need to investigate further before deciding on this neighborhood.
You find a neighborhood that isn't very convenient to major highways, but it's just what you're looking for with everything you need in walking distance. Should you live here?
If the area has everything you need, and you don't need to use the highway to get to work, this would be a great location for you.
On a Saturday afternoon, there are children playing in their yards and older couples sitting on their porches. You're looking for a kid-friendly neighborhood. Should you live here?
A mix of older and younger residents gives a neighborhood character.
True or False: You don't have to visit a neighborhood to choose the best one for you; a simple Internet search will do.
It is always best to visit a neighborhood multiple times before deciding to live there.
You've always wanted to live on the beach. You found a great deal within walking distance of the beach with great amenities nearby. The only thing is, the neighborhood has a higher than usual crime rate. Should you live here?
Bad crime is never a good substitute for a perk like living near the beach. Keep looking.
You've been looking for a new urban redevelopment with lots of amenities within walking distance. You find the perfect place, but the condo building is mostly empty after just a year of sales. Should you live here?
An empty condo building is only a warning sign if it isn't new. Since this condo building just started selling units, it will most likely fill up soon.
You found a neighborhood you love and check to make sure you can afford the property taxes. You find they are in your budget because they have significantly decreased in the last year. Should you live here?
The decrease is most likely due to falling home prices, which means as the market recovers, the taxes will likely increase again.
You're pregnant and found the perfect neighborhood for your new family. It's very far away from a hospital, but your doctor's office is just about 30 minutes away. Should you live here?
Proximity to a hospital is something you should not compromise on if you have a health condition or are pregnant.
On your first drive through a neighborhood, you notice "for rent" signs on a particular street. When you ask a neighbor about them, you find out college students usually rent the houses, and school is out for the summer. Should you live here?
As long as you're okay with living in a young college-oriented neighborhood, these "for rent" signs are not a warning sign.
True or False: If you're moving from another state, it's perfectly fine to allow your real estate agent or friend to make the decision about the right neighborhood for you without seeing it yourself.
You should always do whatever it takes to see your potential new neighborhood in person.