There’s a reason why in real estate the phrase “Location, location, location” is always said. In real estate, we use the term “external obsolescence”, meaning a depreciation in the value of a home due to factors that exist outside the property itself. And the neighborhood is one.
Where you live matters. Not only are you investing in a home, but you’re also investing in a neighborhood. We’ve got tips on how you can make sure you’re choosing the right neighborhood for you.
Mind the Cost of Living
Know how much you can spend and look for neighborhoods that match your budget. In San Diego, for instance, a family of four has estimated monthly costs of $3,910.52 for basic needs and around $3500 to rent a three-bedroom apartment per month*. Before you look around, it is a must to get pre-approved for you to know the loan amount you can afford. Also, get to know the tax rates as they vary from town to town.
Evaluate Your Lifestyle
Do you like living in high-energy places like the city? Or do you like a more laid-back living in the suburbs? Some like the quiet of cul-de-sacs, and some prefer busy living on main boulevards. If you’re in San Diego County, going coastal can often be more costly. People have different preferences and you need to decide what kind of lifestyle you can live for the years to come.
It’s a tough subject, but certainly an important one. Just like any other place in the world, there will have some criminal activity from time to time so don’t be too disheartened. Research the crime stats of the area you’re looking into. You may want to spend time walking or driving through the neighborhood at different times of the day or even talk to locals to get a sense of the area. Look for vandalism or broken windows. Also, see if there are enough amount of street lights and security cameras in the neighborhood.
The quality of local schools is usually an indicator of a good neighborhood. You can learn about the school district online, and check state test scores to indicate a school’s performance. Also, consider the extracurricular activities available and sports programs if any.
Know how long it will take for you to get to work. Is there an alternative to driving? How is mass transportation in the area? What are the costs? Do you have access to a major highway? These are important questions to answer before shopping around for houses in the area.
Proximity to Necessities and Amenities
Make sure your needs like food, access to clinics, and leisure are covered. Make a list of local restaurants and locate the nearest grocery stores. Come by a shopping plaza and see if businesses are thriving. Know where in the neighborhood are the art centers, libraries, or parks.
No neighborhood is 100% perfect. Bottomline, find a place that makes you feel at home and makes you happy. Having a trusted real estate agent will not only guide you through the process but help you make more informed decisions. Contact us if you’re looking into neighborhoods in San Diego county.