When looking for open houses in San Diego, how closely are you actually looking at the neighborhood as you drive through it? Most people don’t really know what to look for in a new neighborhood, so they tend to focus too much on the house and not its surroundings.

As real estate agents, we see this all the time. Our clients consistently name countless features that they want in a house, but they know very little of what they actually want in a neighborhood.

Know What You Can Change

One thing that all house seekers should know is that you can change a house (to a certain extent), but you can’t change the neighborhood. You can change the color of a room, redo bathrooms and kitchens and add other features down the line, but unless you plan on running for public office, there is little you can do to make changes in your neighborhood.

That’s why the looking at the neighborhood is just as important as the house you will be buying.

Know What You Want

What makes a good neighborhood? Part of the answer to that question lies in your personal preferences. Some questions that you can ask yourself are:

●      Do you want to be located close to the water, the downtown area or further inland?

●      Will you be sending children to school? How close do you want to be to that school?

●      Do you want easy access to a highway or other major road?

●      Do you want to be close to a park, a place of worship or anything else?

●      How much can you afford to pay in taxes?

The best thing that you can do before starting your search for a house is write down a list of things that you want in a neighborhood, then break into two parts: the must haves and the nice to haves. Don’t forget to think towards the future if you know this is a house that you will be staying in for years to come.

Know What Makes a “Good” Neighborhood

Always remember that “good” is a term that is relative to your personal preferences, but there are a few things that are widely desired in a neighborhood:

●      High Rated Schools: greatschools.org is a comprehensive website that lists the ratings of schools in the San Diego area.

●      Low Crime Rates: the San Diego police department displays crime statistics and maps on their website.

●      Convenience/Activities: look for restaurants, shopping plazas and other activities that are close by. You can use websites like Yelp or Google Maps to get a good idea of what is close. You should even take a drive through the neighborhood to see the layout.

●      Sidewalks/Parks: sidewalks are always a plus, especially if you have children who want to head off to a friends house or the park on their own.

●      Taxes: you can look up property tax rates on the Auditor and Controller’s website.

Know the Most Important Aspect of a Neighborhood

All the crime statistics, school ratings and sidewalks in the world don’t compare to the most important thing to look for in a new neighborhood: how it makes you feel.

In the end, you are the person who will be living there day and night. You should make sure that it is a place where you feel comfortable, safe and right at home. It’s your house and we at Metro San Diego Realty are just here to help you find it. Contact us today to start your search.

Posted by Jason Coriano on
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