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Finding a Neighborhood and Community You Like

posted by Stephen Katz @ 11:10 AM
Monday, April 29, 2013

Do research before buying a home. Look into the amenities and features of your future community. Make sure the neighborhood has the kinds of school, transportation, and recreational facilities you want. Researching the community is as important as the house inspections. A local real estate agent can assist with the information you need. Also check other sources of information listed here.

Housing Stock – Find out the average age and purchase price of the homes in the area to determine whether you are looking in an area that’s within your budget. You also don’t want to move into an area where the cost of maintaining your home is too high. Also look for renters versus owners and how much remodeling is in the area. This is an indicator of how happy residences are with the community, as people who enjoy an area are more likely to stay and invest in their homes.

Economy – Look at employment statistics and check the want ads in the paper. Look to the chamber of commerce for information about businesses and real estate costs, taxes, jobs and cost of living in the area.

Home ownership – The indicators of a community’s character are the median age and the income of the residents. Communities with elderly people are generally quieter, whereas the ones with younger residents may have more kids and recreational opportunities. You can find this info out with the census bureau.

Recreation – Take a drive and see if the amenities in the community fit you and your lifestyle. Shopping and theaters, biking and running trails, pools and parks; the chamber of commerce can provide this information.

Transportation – Are the roads maintained? Can you get to work quickly and easily? Is there public transportation available? Highway and road construction can be checked with the local planning department.

Schools – You can get information by contacting the city or county school board to find out if the students have tested well in math and reading. How far away they are?

Environment – See if your house is on a flood plain, next to a toxic waste facility or industrial water or exhaust outlet. A review of the community’s public health data can be found HUD’s Environmental Resources.

Safety – Ask the local police precinct for the community liaison or public information officer. They can give you a picture of personal and property crime in the area. The FBI’s uniform crime reports are available online and list crimes by type, number and area.

Stephen Katz

(770) 309-0939 (direct) or (866) 742-8400 -- For the past 18 years, Stephen Katz has built a successful business almost entirely on referrals. As your mortgage consultant throughout the home loan process, Stephen will explain the pros and cons of all available mortgage programs and help you choose the financing option that is best suited to your needs. Throughout the loan process, he will keep you informed and will respond quickly to your requests with answers and solutions. Consistently a top producer, Stephen is a Mortgage Bankers Association "Diamond" Award winner, a Georgia Mortgage "Top Gun" and has closed almost half a billion dollars in loans. Put his knowledge and experience to work for you!

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