Hunting down the perfect home is a task often taken on with a laser focus, but should you really be thinking about the bigger picture? Where your future home is located can influence how long you stay there - as well as how much you actually enjoy living there.
Here are six tips to make sure you find a neighborhood that meets your needs and end up living in a community you love.
1. Stop by in the morning, evening and for lunch.
Don’t just take a look around the neighborhood for an afternoon showing - see how the neighborhood works at different times of day. Are there huge backups due to morning rush hour mixed with construction projects? Is the neighborhood park a big meeting spot for families in the late afternoon? Are there impromptu live music performances at a nearby cafe for lunch hour? To get a well-rounded picture of what the neighborhood has to offer, hangout there and see if you can picture yourself taking part in community activities, eating at nearby restaurants and shopping for groceries down the street.
What makes a neighborhood great varies from buyer to buyer - so decide what matters most to you depending on your needs, hobbies and lifestyle, and go from there.
If you are relocating and won’t have the opportunity to “test drive” a neighborhood before you buy into it, find neighborhood resources online like neighborhood Facebook pages, fliers for community events, reviews of nearby spots on Yelp (Jacksonville has a very active Yelp community), search Youtube videos or have your agent check it out for you.