There’s a lot to consider when you’re searching for your next home, including whether it has the right number of bedrooms, a layout conducive to your needs and is move-in ready or ripe for all the renovations you’ve been planning. But what matters even more is what’s just beyond the property line.
The area you purchase in is not only an important factor in your ability to enjoy your home, but also in your ability to see the value of your property grow over time. Whether your home is in the area’s most desirable neighborhood or in one positioned to improve in the next few years, it’s important to keep an eye on the aspects of the area that signal you’ll have interested buyers when you decide to sell down the line.
Even if you aren’t big on recreation centers or prefer delivery pizza to trying out the hottest new restaurant, buying a home in a neighborhood offering those features can mean a bigger payout. Here are eight neighborhood amenities to look for while house hunting, even if you don’t intend to use them:
Grocery store. Access to fresh food is a must to ensure a neighborhood can thrive, so it’s a good idea to inquire about where the nearest grocery store is – and if it’s your preferred shop. A Whole Foods can be a great option, but if you prefer the prices at Trader Joe’s, close proximity to the former might not be that desirable.
Proximity to offices. One thing people want easy access to: work. Even if you’re planning to drive to your office in the next town or prefer to live farther from your office, many professionals are seeking a home close to their company so they can combine work and play more seamlessly.
HOA perks. If you’re considering a neighborhood with a homeowners association or you’re planning to buy in a condo community, consider the amenities attached to those dues you’ll be paying. Some HOAs include access to a community clubhouse, pool or golf course, while others simply seek to cover your trash pickup and landscaping.
Fitness options. The most desired HOA or condo association perk? A top-notch gym or fitness area, Steele says. Even if you’re not buying into an HOA and have no plans to exercise in public, buying a house that’s a stone’s throw from a state-of-the-art gym can be a big draw for many buyers when you decide to sell.
Schools and parks? Maybe. Being in a neighborhood with the right schools for your children is a must for many and can serve as a great incentive if the next buyers of your house have school-age children. But what if you don’t have kids or plan to send them to private school elsewhere? The benefits of living in a neighborhood with a school or park nearby may or may not be the best option.
Access to shops. Beyond food options, proximity to retail stores can be a sign of future growth for a neighborhood. Especially when you see recognizable brand names, you know larger companies have considered the area and expect success.
Travel access. Even with all these walk able must-haves, you and any future home buyer will want to leave town at some point. Even if you fit the work-and-play mold above perfectly, consider that easy options for moving in and out of the area are still important for many homeowners.
Identity. This one’s not so much a tangible amenity but an important factor that’s guiding much of new property development these days. Builders have caught on to the need for all the amenities above and are working more and more to fit them into a single neighborhood.
realestate.usnews: 8 Neighborhood Amenities to Look For, Even if You Don’t Use Them. 11. August 2018. https://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/articles/8-neighborhood-amenities-to-look-for-even-if-you-dont-use-them