Ask a group of people what they would do if they won the lottery or came into a substantial sum of money and odds are you’ll hear “buy my dream home” more times than not. It’s a basic want that just about every adult has.
But, while most people have in their heads the type of homes they would love to live in if they had the choice, many have not given any thought as to where they would like to live. And in many cases, this will have a bigger impact on their lifestyle than the home they buy.
At Publishers Clearing House, we’re ready to make one lucky person’s dream come true! Enter our Dream Home Sweepstakes and you could win $500,000 to buy the home of your dreams in the neighborhood you’ve always wanted to live in. And, to be sure the neighborhood you’re choosing is perfect for you, here are five key tips for evaluating the neighborhood before you buy.
Step 1: Look at Historical Property Values
Before you buy into a neighborhood, you will want to investigate the area’s historical property values. Over the past two decades, how well have the property values fared? Ideally, barring the housing spikes of the early 2000s, home prices should gradually appreciate over time. If the neighborhood’s home values have spiked and tanked over the years or steadily declined, then you will want to look elsewhere.
Step 2: Count the Number of Listings in the Area
If you’re driving through the neighborhood and you notice quite a few homes on the market, there might be a reason why. Before you buy your dream home in a neighborhood with a lot of listings, find out why so many people are moving so you aren’t stuck in a neighborhood that is in trouble. Ideally, if you are looking to buy your “forever home,” you will want to stick with neighborhoods that have less turnover.
Step 3: What Are the Schools Like?
Even if you don’t have school-age kids, the quality of the local schools is important to know before you buy a home in a neighborhood. Why? Because neighborhoods with good public school systems tend to command higher home prices and rental rates, thus a good school system helps protect the property value of a neighborhood.
Step 4: Look at Local Crime Rates
Take the time to learn about the local crime rate before moving into an area. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that an affluent neighborhood automatically has zero crime. There might actually be a lot of burglaries in the area. Find out for sure before you move. You should also always check the National Sex Offender Database as well, especially if you have kids or grandkids who will be living with you or visiting you.
Step 5: Traffic and Noise
Visit a neighborhood on a Wednesday afternoon and it might seem tranquil and idyllic, but visit that very same neighborhood on a Friday night or Saturday afternoon and it might seem like a completely different place. In order for the home you buy to actually be your dream home, your environment will definitely play a big part. So, visit the neighborhood at various times of the day and the evening, as well as over the weekend in order to get a better understanding of the local traffic and noise issues. Speaking with some neighbors in the community will also provide you with some added insight as to the quality of life in the neighborhood.
Enter to Win the Dream Home Sweepstakes from Publishers Clearing House
Imagine if you had $500,000 to spend on a dream home. Where would you pick to live? Now that you know how to evaluate a neighborhood, you’ll have a better chance of finding the perfect community to call home.
Enter to win the Publishers Clearing House $500,000 Dream Home Sweepstakes today, tomorrow, and every day up until the deadline date for your chance to win a dream home. With a little luck and persistence, you could be moving into your dream neighborhood!
For PCH Creative