Neighborhood Red Flags to Watch Out for When Buying a Home

It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying a home. However, it is essential to stay practical and ensure you don’t overlook important aspects: home inspection, neighborhood, etc. With that being said, now, before you place an offer, is the best time to take a more in-depth look at the neighborhood. What signs tell you an area isn’t the best? Watch out for these neighborhood red flags – you’ll be glad you did when it comes time to sell:

neighborhood red flags

7 Neighborhood Red Flags

Too many homes are on the market
Take a drive around the neighborhood. Do you see a lot of “for sale” signs? If so, forget this neighborhood and move on. Neighborhoods with tons of “for sale” signs may point to illiquidity in the market and pricing pressure, which can be a risk for buyers. However, that isn’t always the case. Some families may be looking to cash in on rising home values. Others may be downsizing. Talk to your REALTOR® to try and get the real story!

There’s no available parking
Whether you are looking downtown or in a suburb, parking is a definite concern. While you may have a garage, there may not be space for guests. With that in mind, take a look around to see if there is street parking. There is nothing more frustrating than not having a spot for your friends and family to park.

Homes look too similar
Ever hear of a cookie-cutter neighborhood? These homes all look very similar. The houses looking similar isn’t the issue. The issue is whether or not you see some differentiating factors: decorative wreaths, garden art, etc. If every home looks the same, the homeowner’s association may be too restrictive. This lack of creative freedom may not drive you crazy in the beginning, but the control could be too much to handle down the road.

Next door homes aren’t well-maintained
The condition of surrounding homes can be detrimental to the value of a home. Drive around and look at the properties to get a feel for how the neighbors take care of their property. If the neighborhood looks run down, it may not be a great place to buy.

It’s in an industrial area
Industrial areas are not very appealing. Take a drive around the surrounding areas of the neighborhood and look for strip malls, restaurants, boutiques and more. These nearby amenities are great for you when you own the home, and even better when it comes time to sell.

There are lots of empty storefronts nearby
Don’t merely look for storefronts, look to see if they are busy. Busy is a sign of a great area while vacant storefronts signal an area in decline.

Fewer students enrolling in the school district
Even if you don’t have kids, the school district matters. The sign of a great school district and area is an increasing or steady enrollment of students. Shrinking class sizes are a red flag and signal the school may not be the right option for your children.

Bottom line? Take a drive around the neighborhood and think about the home’s resale value before you buy.

Do you have any questions about buying in the Central Texas area? I’m a great resource! Give me a call today.

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