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Thursday, November 16, 2017

It’s Not a Home, It’s a Lifestyle

by Becky Blanton

Many real estate agents will ask you how many rooms and what kind of square footage you’re looking for, but great agents ask about your lifestyle.

What Is A Lifestyle?

A lifestyle is a composite of a person or family’s motivations, needs, and wants. Your lifestyle is influenced by things like you or your family’s interests, hobbies, culture, family, work and even your social class. When house-hunting, most of us think about things like, “Is there room for my stuff, my cars, my sports gear, and is there a garage or shed to store my equipment or tools?” Most of us, though, don’t really think about the community and things we’ll need around our house.

You Don’t Live in the House, You Live in the Community

You may eat, sleep and spend your time in your house, but it is important to remember that you live in the greater community. It’s where you will work, go to school, shop, get your car repaired, see your doctor and dentist, go to church or a place of worship, socialize, work out if you belong to a gym, and it’s where you will meet the neighbors you will interact with as long as you live in the house you do. If your children go to school, the parks, museums, attractions and sports fields and programs will be where they will experience much of their week and life. So have you taken time to look around and see what the community is like?

Top Twelve Features to Look For In A Community

There are a lot of features to consider when evaluating a neighborhood for its friendliness and livability factors. Here are some of the features you might not have considered:

Public Transportation: Do you travel for business? How close is the nearest airport? Train station? Bus Station? Subway? Are there taxis? Are city buses or public transportation within walking distance for you and/or your children or teens? Can you get to where you want to go quickly from where your house is? If you’re a retiree — are you close to the services and organizations you tend to utilize a lot?

Neighborhood Curb Appeal:
We all know what curb appeal means for our house, but what about curb appeal for the neighborhood? Do you have a lot of guests, or do a lot of entertaining? What does the neighborhood look like for the last half mile to a mile before visitors get to your home? Is it attractive?

Gyms: Do you belong to a gym? Is it within 10 minutes (or less) of your house? Are you willing or able to switch gyms to join one near you?

Children, Adults or Seniors: Are your neighbors mostly retired, with no kids, or do most of the houses on the block have kids the same age as yours? Being the only family in a neighborhood with kids can be hard, and vice versa, if you are a retiree you may or may not want to live in a neighborhood with a lot of children.

Pet Friendly: Is the neighborhood dog or/and cat friendly? You don’t want to be the only neighbor with a barking dog, or a cat lover whose cat kills birds and squirrels the neighbors enjoy feeding. If you don’t love animals, how happy will you be in a neighborhood where everyone, or at least your immediate neighbors, has a dog and will most likely walk their dog past your yard, or even use your yard as a pet toilet? Do you raise, or want to raise, chickens, bees or goats? Do you have a horse? Is there a veterinarian nearby?

Delivery friendly: Do you order a lot of takeout? Are there pizza and food delivery services in your neighborhood? Believe it or not, many places have a delivery area they won’t venture out of. If you order a lot of pizza or delivery food, it will seriously cramp your style if you can’t get delivery.

Shopping: Do you do one big grocery shopping trip a month and buy all your meat, milk, bread and supplies in one trip? Or, like most of us, do you go to the grocery store, mall, or other shopping center several times a week? Are there areas close to the house you’d be content to use on a regular basis?

DIY Stores: Are you a DIY’er? Do you like working on home projects over the weekend? Think about how far you are from a home improvement store, lumberyard, or even an ACE hardware store.
Parks: Not everyone goes to the park regularly, but if you’re one of the ones who do, how close are you to a park? This can be a small neighborhood park with a bench and a dog park nearby, or it can be elaborate and huge. Think about how much time you spend walking, jogging, running, walking a pet, or just being outdoors in nature. Will you be able to do this in the neighborhood you’re thinking of?

Schools:
Even if you don’t have children, you’ll be paying into the tax base of any neighborhood where there is a school. If there is a high school there will be an influx of teen-aged drivers, buses, and traffic in and around your neighborhood. Will this impact you in terms of noise, safety, security, and night events at the school that may use bright lights or have parking issues that spill out into your streets?

Safety and Security: How safe is your neighborhood? Your real estate agent can’t tell you, but you can go to websites like SpotCrime.com, RaidsOnline.com and CrimeMapping.com to find out how many, and what kinds of crimes have been committed in any neighborhood. Most police departments have a crime statistics page so you can see how safe your neighborhood, as well as surrounding neighborhoods, actually are. Crime can happen in any neighborhood, but it’s less likely to happen to you if you’re in a low crime zone. If you have children, check the national sex offender’s registry to see how many pedophiles live in the neighborhood…you could be surprised.

Entertainment: Entertainment can mean restaurants as well as movie theaters, shopping malls, libraries, fast food places, museums, recreation centers, and bowling alleys. Do you fish or boat? How close are you to a lake or other venue where you can enjoy your hobbies? If you like to go out during the week consider how far you’ll need to drive, and how willing you are to drive there several times a week.

Even the most perfect home can be a prison if you don’t live in a neighborhood that you feel a part of and meets your needs. So once you find the perfect house, don’t forget to make sure you’re in the perfect neighborhood for your lifestyle too.

My name is Scott Grebner and I have been helping my clients realize their own personal real estate dreams. Real estate is a relationship-based business that works best when client relationships are built on trust and confidence. My goal is having clients be completely satisfied with the professional and caring service they have received.

The role of technology is rapidly changing how the real-estate market functions in this country today. Re/Max Preferred Choice is embracing these new mediums of communication to better serve our customers. We have created our company to better place important information in your hands to help you with your housing needs. For a personal consultation please contact me at my Website.

It seems that the dream of past generations was to pay off a mortgage. The dream of today’s young families is to get one. I would love to hear from you, about your Real Estate Dreams and questions.

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