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Monday, August 17, 2009 @ 3:32:00 PM - Written by Ryan Vaught

August 17, 2009

Mistake #8: Not researching the neighborhood

Week 3 of my 10 week series on home buying mistakes that can cost you.  This week we're looking at mistake #8, "Not Researching the Neighborhood". 

Here's the scenario: You've just moved into your dream home but you didn't have time or didn't even think to research the neighborhood and now, due to not liking the neighborhood, you are thinking your dream home might be your nightmare home...if only you had done your homework!  Make sure you go in the right order: Step #1- find a neighborhood/location you like, then step #2 find a home in that area! 

I am going to go over 5 steps to choosing a neighborhood that will fit your needs this week.  So let's jump right in with Step #1: Profile Your Perfect Neighborhood

Before you start scrutinizing neighborhoods, turn the magnifying glass back on yourself.

Think about what you're really looking for in a new neighborhood. Remember, you'll probably have to make compromises, so put the "must-haves" at the top and the "would- like-to-haves" at the bottom.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Do you have children or are you planning to have children in the near future? If you answered yes, then consider things such as the school district/neighborhood school and other important factors, such as parks nearby.  Even if you don't have school aged kids, consider that buying near a good school can actually be an asset to your property value. 
  • What type of home do you want? Are you looking to buy a single family home, duplex, condo, etc.?
  • How far are you willing to commute? If you have a car, then how long is the drive?  Does it seem reasonable (make sure you factor in both getting there and returning each day)?  Do you plan on taking public transportation- then, if so, is it close enough to easily access?
  • Do you want to be in an older more established neighborhood or a new development? If you aren't sure, weigh the pros and cons: older homes will have more mature landscaping, usually more variation in homes on a given street, but also more repair work and possibly not as energy efficient.  Newer homes have more modern features, usually are more nergy efficient, but don't have the established feel to the neighborhood and usually landscaping is still young.
  • Think about what you don't want in a neighborhood, too. If you can't stand late-night noise, you'll probably want to steer clear of the college area or an area with a lively bar scene.

Finally, make sure you visit a potential neighborhood you want to buy in several times and at different times of the day.  

Information and articles in this blog were obtained from:

Take a look at my market report for today!

Currently Ryan has about 30+ listings in inventory, and has sold 23 homes in 2009. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions about Chico area real estate.

Interested in learning more about the Chico area or Ryan?
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Office Phone: (530) 343-2959

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New Chico Listings, Chico, CA:

1625 HEMLOCK ST, Chico, CA $90,000.00
  Residential 2 Bedroom 1 Bath Built in 1951   0.2 Acres  626 Sq. Ft.
  HUD Opportunity! Electronic bids until 8/23/09 for owner occupant priority then owner occupants/investors on a daily basis. HUD is offering special owner occupant buyer's ince...

More information on 1625 hemlock st
3640 STATE HWY 32, Chico, CA $299,000.00
  Residential 3 Bedroom 1 Bath Built in 1937   984 Sq. Ft.
  *Opportunity Knocks*One Acre Flat Usable Lot*2-3 Bedroom House*2000 Sq. Ft. Shop*Guest Cottage*Gated Driveway*2 Car Detached Garage*Zoning Possibilities??*Newer Kitchen*Update...

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1426 DOWNING AVE, CHICO, CA $329,518.00
  Residential 4 Bedroom 3 Bath Built in 1965   0.21 Acres  2077 Sq. Ft.
  Immaculate 3 Bedroom, 2 Bath home with additional permitted 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath Unit located with separate entrance behind garage. Inviting front courtyard with water feature. ...

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