5 Things To Think About When Choosing Your New Neighborhood in Alameda County

When you buy a home, you’re not just purchasing a house. You are also investing in a neighborhood – where you may wind up living for many, many years. That’s why real estate people always say the three most important considerations are location, location, and location. The neighborhood you live in should meet several criteria, such as compatibility with your lifestyle, affordability, low crime rates, good schools, and more. So check out these 5 things you need to think about when choosing your new neighborhood in Alameda County.

1. Lifestyle Compatability

Your new neighborhood in Alameda County should, first of all, be a good match for your lifestyle. So before you even begin home shopping take stock of your lifestyle and your needs and wants. You certainly don’t want to fall in love with a home and then find out after you buy it that the neighborhood is a terrible fit.

Think carefully about your values, your priorities, and your living preferences. Do you want a close-knit neighborhood, or would you prefer to remain aloof and have some space around you? Do you want to be surrounded by people like yourself, or do you revel in differences? If you have kids, does the neighborhood have plenty of children for them to play with? Basically, you need to determine what kind of neighborhood personality will make you the happiest.

This is an area where your local real estate agent, who understands well the neighborhoods in the area, can be a great help. If you want to find out more, just contact a Alameda County agent at (408) 893-1866 .

2. Affordability and Local Conditions

You also need to make sure the local market conditions make buying and living in the new Alameda County neighborhood affordable. Although neighborhood personality is indeed important, for many buyers affordability is the number-one issue.

Buying a home in a neighborhood in {market_city] is ultimately a highly personal decision, but buying a home is most often an investment as well. Do local market conditions indicate that your home will appreciate over time?

Again, you should work closely with your local agent to determine affordability and investment potential. Your agent can help you figure local property value trends and the trajectory of the neighborhood. Ultimately, it will be a balancing act, a trade-off, between neighborhood desirability and affordability.

3. Quality of Schools

If you have kids, you will, no doubt, want to make sure the neighborhood’s nearby schools have a good reputation. Be sure, then, to check out schools from elementary through high school, familiarizing yourself as well with districts and boundaries.

But good schools aren’t just for people with school-aged children. Even if you don’t have kids in school, the quality of the local schools is still important. A good school system typically indicates a good neighborhood where, for example, crime rates are low and property values increase over time.

4. Driving Time

And no matter how much you love the home and the neighborhood, if you have a long daily commute, that love may sour after a while. One thing you definitely need to think about, then, when choosing your new neighborhood in Alameda County is how much time you have to spend driving to get to work (and to stores and restaurants).

That ranch-style home in that well-fitting neighborhood in a suburb may lower your quality of life if you have to spend hours in your car every day. Think about how much driving time you are willing to trade for time with family and friends.

5. Amenities and Conveniences

In a similar vein, you need the think about the new [market-city] neighborhood’s amenities and conveniences. Again, if it’s a rural or suburban neighborhood, there may not be any entertainment or shopping nearby. Will that satisfy your needs?

Before making a decision, be sure to check the proximity of parks, restaurants, museums, grocery stores, and even convenience stores. How far are you willing to travel to access these amenities/conveniences? You may find that you prefer to join the growing ranks of people who would rather be able to walk to all their desired destinations.

Your Local Agent Can Help

These, of course, are the important things you need to think about when choosing your new neighborhood in Alameda County, but there are many more. And it really is critical that you buy a home in a neighborhood that suits you. That’s why it’s so important to work with a local real estate agent. Find out how our agents can help you find a great neighborhood fit. Give us a call today at (408) 893-1866 !

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