Purchasing a new home is a major life changing decision. It often means moving to a new town or even a new state. We suggest taking time to research and explore what surrounding neighborhoods have to offer. You may often find a home online that you fall in love with just to find out that the surrounding neighborhood is not what you expected. In this article we provide tips on how to help you locate a neighborhood that’s a good fit for you and your family.
Perform Location Research. What location do you prefer? #1 utilize Google and Google Maps. Use Google to research neighborhood associations. For example: The Council of Neighborhood Associations is a great resource for Pinellas County which is located in the Tampa Bay area. CONA is one of many neighborhood pages out there. Google Maps allows you to view the surrounding area of the home of interest.
Research Schools. If you have children, school systems play a huge part in your decision to purchase. We suggest researching school zoning, reviews, private schools and etc. Examples include Pinellas County Zoning, Pinellas County School System and Hillsborough County.
Decide what’s important about a neighborhood. Do you want to live close to stores, parks, lakes or beaches? Do you want to live within walking distance to beaches or downtown? Are you interested in a quiet area? Different neighborhoods offer their own historic charm, culture and conveniences. Living close to the beach or downtown can potentially mean heavier traffic. Think about your commute to work. Although you may love living close to the beach it doesn’t necessarily mean you will love the extra 30-45 minutes of traffic to get to work. Make a list of must haves, needs and wants and then you can narrow down the list with pros and cons.
Does the community have an HOA (Home Owner Association) or CDD (Community Development District) fee? Find out if a community has an HOA or CDD fee. What are the fees? What’s included? Select neighborhoods have a mandatory HOA, volunteer HOA fee or none. CDD fees are generally for newer communities. You definitely do not want any surprises after putting in an offer on a new home. A great agent will ensure you are informed of any and all fees before submitting an offer.
Understand Flood Zones. Make sure you are well informed when it comes to flood zones and flood insurance. What are the costs? Does the home of interest reside in a flood zone? We encourage you to visit the county of your choice. Examples include: Pinellas County Flood Information and Hillsborough County Flood Information
We hope the information provided above is useful and guides you in the right direction. The Tampa Bay area is a fantastic place to live! We hope to see you soon! If you would like assistance feel free to contact us via website, text, email or direct line at 727-251-3487.