3 Steps To Choosing The Best Neighborhood

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Fully Approved for a mortgage – great!  If so, with Full Loan Approval in hand the next step is to choose the best neighborhood to set down roots. For this step, your real estate professional can be a valued resource.  If you haven’t selected a realtor and need assistance, visit American United’s Find a Realtor® tool and we’ll connect you with a trusted agent in your area. 

Here are some tips for finding and choosing the best neighborhood:

Make a “Wish List”

Not everyone has the same priorities when it comes to houses and neighborhoods.  Creating a wish list will be helpful to identify which features you want in a home. Features to consider when making your wish list include, number of bedrooms, fireplace, finished basement, updated kitchen, walking access to bus line, backyard pool, fenced-in yard, etc.  While it’s important to be honest with your wish list, remember not to get too particular.  Separating wants from needs and prioritizing are two quick ways to identify which features are the most important to your search.

Neighborhood Watch

After you’ve made a wish list, give a copy to your real estate agent.  This will help the agent find homes that fit this criteria.  In the meantime, settling on a neighborhood is a great place to start your search.  Since the neighborhood will reflect the community and living environment of the residents, it’s important to take notice of the surrounding areas of any house you’re considering. Some things you’ll want to take into account are:

  • Schools – Your Realtor® can provide details about the school ratings for the area.
  • Local Highways and Commute Times – How will your daily commute be affected?
  • Cultural Opportunities – Are there museums, libraries or concert halls nearby?
  • Open Space – What parks are available, and how close are they?
  • Employment Opportunities – Are there sufficient work opportunities available for your family?


Visit the Area

It’s impossible to get a feel for a neighborhood with just one visit. Drive around the local roads and keep an eye out for signs this might be the place to settle down. Do you see lots of families playing in the yard? Are there sidewalks, or signs for community events? For an even better idea of the neighborhood, visit at different times; week days, weekends and at least one nighttime visit. A neighborhood will have a completely different feel depending on if you visit at night or on a weekend.

Home Sweet Home

By doing your area research upfront, you provide yourself with the confidence to move quickly when a well-priced home comes on the market for sale.  In other words, while your competition is trying to decide if the home is located in the right area for them, you’re already making an offer!

By making a wish list, researching neighborhoods and selecting the right real estate professional, you are one step closer to finding your dream home.

Are you ready to get a Full Loan Approval? Reach out to Joe Farella at 908.322.5423 or via email:  joe@americanunited.com to get started!  Unlike a pre-approval, a Full Approval shows the seller that you are a serious buyer that can close quickly – a strong position to have in today’s competitive market.

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