If you are buying a home in Central Florida, you might be tempted to start looking at homes online.
You might want to rethink your strategy. You don't want to fall in love with a home that is in the wrong neighborhood for you.
You should follow these simple steps insted:
If you are ready for step 2, here's what you should keep in mind:
You are not too cool for school
If you have kids, or might want to start a family, look for a neighborhood where you are comfortable with the schools.
Even if you don’t have kids, the school district you are in can affect you in the long term. So, do your research ahead of time. You can start by visiting the Florida Department of Education's website.
Know your level of convenience
Is being able to walk to stores and restaurants important to you? Notice if the neighborhoods you are considering have large sidewalks and are pedestrian friendly.
Decide early on how close shops, restaurants, and grocery stores should be from your home. Even if you don't mind having to drive, you might not be up for a 30 minute trip to your favorite grocery store.
To HOA or not
Oh, the HOAs. This is a hot topic between home owners. Some love them and some hate them. Do some research on what it entails to be part of an HOA in a specific neighborhood.
Ask for a copy of the bylaws, rules, and regulations. Some HOAs are stricter than others, and you'll want to know exactly what the guidelines are.
And don’t forget to check what their fees are and what they cover.
Consider the ammenities
Which ammenities would you actually use?
Be honest with yourself. If you would not make use of the amenities, it may not make sense to pay for them.
However, if you are looking for ammenities galore, Central Florida Real Estate has it all. Some popular neighborhoods have: pools, lake access, gyms, golf courses, club houses, sporting facilities, parks, trails, and more!
Talk to your Realtor about what ammenities you are looking for.
Gated community & Security
Everyone wants to feel safe and secure, but not everyone wants to live in a gated community or have a security guard 24/7.
Living in a gated community can add costs to your HOA fees and create a few inconveniences when having guests over. You may have to call ahead to allow their entrance, or you may have to make sure they have the gate’s security code.
If you travel a lot and want that extra peace of mind, you may want to consider a gated community, or a community that is regularly patrolled.
You need to figure out what works best for you.
Surround yourself with positivity
If you have found a few neighborhoods that you like, go check them out in person.
While you are at it, make sure you check out the surrounding areas. If you like what you see, perfect! If you don’t, move onto your other options.
I think I found my neighborhood, now what?
Visit the neighborhood a few times, preferably at different times of the day and the week. Check how the traffic flows during peak hours. Is the neighborhood quiet or lively at night?
Keep doing your research - check the crime rate, and if the area is in a flood zone.
Are your neighbors friendly? Maybe too friendly? Do you notice any smells or noise? Take the time you need to determine if you like what you see.
Tip: It's ok if you found more than one neighborhood that you like. It gives you more options when finding a home that you love. Just make sure that you are happy with those choices.
Now, onto finding your next home!
What do you look for in your ideal neighborhood? Any "must haves" or "deal breakers?"