One of the most important decisions homebuyers have to make when they’re ready to take the plunge into home ownership is: What area do we want to live in? As the ubiquitous real estate adage goes: Location, location, location!
There are the obvious parameters like price and condition of the home that guide your ultimate decision, but make sure to consider these important factors as well.
If you own a car, you’ll want to consider whether parking is accessible in the neighborhood you’re looking at. Do most homes have onsite parking or street parking? Is that street parking permit parking, or are there parking restrictions for street sweeping (no parking on Tuesdays from 12pm-4pm).
Are the streets usually packed with cars or are parking spots often available throughout the day? What about snow? How will a blizzard or even a few inches of powder affect your parking karma?
You’ll also want to investigate how long it will take you to get to the places you frequent, like your work, the grocery store and common highway routes. If it takes 20 minutes just to get out of the neighborhood, it may not be a good fit. Conversely if you don’t have a car it’s important to note how many public transport options are available, how reliable they are, and where they take you.
This is a notoriously challenging consideration in the Greater Boston area. Towns like Brookline and Wellesley are known for having grade A school systems but they’re prohibitive in terms of price and they’re outside of Boston proper.
Boston Public Schools get a bad rap, but they’re the only option for urban dwellers that can’t spring for private school or don’t want to contend with the “lottery” system of charter schools. The important thing to remember is that not all schools in the same system are created equal. Research the specific school branches in your desired neighborhood to see what their teacher reviews are and what kind of extra support programs they offer their students. The neighborhood may also offer after school programs to supplement school work.
Ratio of Owner-Occupied Homes to Rentals
Especially in Boston, the city of universities, rental-heavy neighborhoods can attract a lot of students and other transient populations. This can mean problems like noise, although not necessarily. But even more importantly, it means you won’t have permanent neighbors.
A larger percentage of owner occupied homes can indicate a more stable neighborhood and perhaps a stronger local community. Homeowners also generally take more pride in their homes and neighborhoods leading to better all around care.
Still having trouble finding the right neighborhood for your next home? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-942-1741 and we’ll help you find the perfect balance.