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Choose a Neighborhood

Location is an extremely important factor in determining your long-term happiness with your new home.

The right real estate agent should be able to give you a lot of information in this area.

Here are a few things to think about, so you’ll be able to discuss them with your agent.

  • Do the schools meet my needs?
  • Is the commute time acceptable?
  • Are there good public recreation areas nearby?
  • Will I like the nearby grocery stores and services? Am I willing to drive out of my way regularly if I don’t?
  • Is the neighborhood stable? Is there sufficient improvement happening around it? If homes are being well maintained and renovated it’s a good sign the area is stable.
  • What trends are occurring in neighboring areas? Is there revitalization happening or are they experiencing a downturn? Neighborhoods transition, that’s only natural. What you need to do is select an area where positive transition is the most likely possibility.

Start Looking Online: There are several excellent Web sites offering listings of homes for sale. Searching your price range is a good way to narrow down the field of neighborhoods you’ll have to choose from, get a quick sense of areas you’d like to explore further, and figure out a few areas you’d prefer to skip entirely.

Write down the MLS numbers for any properties that get your attention so you can give them to your real estate agent. Remember that the real estate agent you select, with few exceptions, can show you the homes listed by any agency.

Check School Reports: If you’ll need to send kids to school now or in the future, the quality of area schools is very important. Ask your real estate agent to provide you with the school reports for any neighborhoods you’re interested in. Another good source is the economic development Web site of the city you’re considering, the local convention and visitors’ bureau Web site, and the Web site of the largest daily newspaper in the area here is a partial list and good luck:

  1. Indianapolis Star
  2. The Times of Northwest Indiana
  3. South Bend Tribune
  4. Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
  5. Evansville Courier & Press
  6. Kokomo Perspective
  7. Elkhart County The Paper