THIS step is about YOU (House Buyer) doing your Home-Work.
If you already live in the area in which you intend to buy, you probably don’t need the assistance of an expert to guide you along.
If you DON’T live in or know about the area perhaps you DO need an expert to get you started . . . but that doesn’t let you off the hook from your Step 3 HomeWork.
Step 3 is ALL about Experiencing and exploring possibilities of places you might want to live that align with YOUR lifestyle.
Sure, a REALTOR can learn a lot about you and your likes and dislikes during the initial consultation – and can then take you on a tour of the city to point out AOIs (Areas of Interest) as they go. These trained professionals can tell you about all the places and neighborhood they THINK you might like . . . but remember, that’s all based on what they heard and understood in a 45 minute conversation . . . It’s a 10,000 foot view of the market.
It’s up to YOU to do some diligence to zoom in (Spiral in) the neighborhood that’s JUST RIGHT for YOU!
Initially, this likely means you get your car and drive drive drive through all of the AOIs you’ve identified as possibilities.
Then as you narrow down to a handful of possibilities, park the car and do some real footwork.
Visit local businesses.
Walk the streets and talk to people you see.
Be an observer and listen to your gut as you travel.
Consider things like:
- Do you want a House? Condo Flat? Townhome? Highrise?
- Urban or rural?
- Do you want to be “walkable” to stores, coffee shops, restaurants
- What kind of neighborhood? One with an association – or Historic – or mid-century ranches on an acre?
- Where’s your HUB? This is the place that’s most central to everything you want to do.
- What’s your tolerance for commute from home to work? Would you drive or use public transportation . . . or want to cycle or walk?
- Where are your friends, family, work associates . . . Place of worship? Do you want to be near them?
- Safety and Security – Call the local Police precinct and ask to speak with the “Local Beat Officer” for the neighborhood and ask that officer about the crime (if any) in the area – They’ll tell the truth.
- If you have children in school, visit the neighborhood schools and speak with the Principals and whatever Teachers and/or students you encounter.
- What community amenities do you want? – Swimming pool, Tennis Courts, etc
- Is the neighborhood a good investment? (A good question for your REALTOR) At your price point, will you be buying at the top or the bottom of that neighborhood? Is the area improving and thereby likely to appreciate?
- GOOGLE GOOGLE to your heart’s content – Research EVERYTHING you can imagine (Knowing of course that if it’s on the internet it MUST be true :-))
As you do your diligence, periodically check in with your REALTOR for fresh “Reality Checks” . . . “Can I buy a house in this neighborhood for the amount of money I am choosing to spend?”
Now that you’ve dialed all of that down to a manageable geographic area, you’re ready for Step 4 – Your HOME SEARCH
Don’t skip Step 3 (many people do) because it’s an essential “Quality of Life” preserver.
There’s not much worse than buying the perfect house in the wrong neighborhood.
This is a PROCESS . . . and all you’ve gotta do now if find the right House/Condo.
This is how we at Pareto Realty work.
We’re local market strategists who take great pleasure in guiding our clients through this process and celebrating with them when move into their new digs.
Connect with us when you’re in the mood for a move . . . and do your home work!