Choosing the right neighborhood is a vital part of the home search. You want to be sure the location, amenities and overall atmosphere are a good fit for you and your family. So, what do you do when the neighborhood doesn’t exist? It can be a bit trickier to select the right neighborhood when you are building in a new development.
That’s why we’ve compiled the following tips to help you make this choice.
Be sure to visit
Even though the home isn’t there yet, it’s important to make a site visit and get a sense of the area. Check out other neighborhoods to see what amenities are nearby. Pay attention to the walkability and general atmosphere. Visit stores and restaurants to see what’s around. The type of businesses in the area can give you a sense of comfort for the neighborhood.
Look at the neighborhood amenities
Do you want a quiet suburban home on a cul-de-sac or a bustling development with bike paths and fitness centers? Look at the developers’ plans for the community to determine if it’s in line with your goals. Lots of sidewalks and gathering centers means more outdoor activity which may be perfect for an active young family. On the other hand, more neighborhood activities may mean traffic or noise issues, so pay attention to that before you buy.
Plan your commute
Pay attention to your commute when looking at neighborhoods. You don’t want to spend all your time in the car. Larger new developments may be farther away from commercial areas. Make a list of priorities to see whether this trade off is worth it for you. You can use online maps to estimate the potential commute or take the time to drive the route on a busy weekday if you want to be sure.
Find out the previous land use
Unlike an existing home, a new development could be impacted by potential industrial hazards. If the land was once used as an industrial facility you could have some real issues. You don’t want to find out down the road that your garden was once a lithium battery plant. Do some research to see what the property has been used for if any soil and water testing have been done.
Pay attention to vacant lots
If someone selected this area for a new development, it’s a safe bet that retail companies will want to follow. If your neighborhood has vacant lots nearby, be careful. Chances are good that those lots will be snatched up and your beautiful mountain view could quickly turn into a view of a big box store. Before you purchase in these areas, check with your local governmental agencies to see if any building projects are in the works.
Understand the development plans
Look into the developers’ long-term plan to see how big the neighborhood will be and how long it will take to build. A very large neighborhood can be challenging for resale values, especially if the building process drags on. If you think you may sell in the next few years, consider that a big development could have new homes available and could drive down your price.
Prepare for more traffic
It may not seem too heavy now, but once the new neighbors move in the traffic may pick up. Drive around your potential neighborhood and check out the current traffic patterns. If the area is already congested, you may be in for a bit of a headache. Pay attention to where your lot falls in relation to the main roads. You don’t want to be surprised with a highway running right behind your backyard oasis.