The value of a home is one of those things that is made up from a thousand different little factors. First is the quality of the home, how sturdy the structure is, how insulated and energy efficient, and the quality of the pipes and wire. Then there’s attractiveness and inclusion of popular features like a big backyard, an open living area rather than a closed floorplan, and an enjoyable kitchen design. However, because you can’t pick up a home and move it, it’s location is also a big part of the actual value determining how much buyers or renters want to live there.
A nice home in a nice neighborhood has a much higher practical property value than the same home standing out as the nicest structure in a run-down neighborhood. Naturally, you want to be sure that any property you own or buy is in an area that will make it a more valuable investment. Here are the five clearest signs that your home is in a great neighborhood for investment property ownership.
1) Good School District
When people are looking for a new home, they’re also planning for the future of their family which means considering the quality of the schools. A high-quality school district with good test scores and many positive reports of happy children and an effective education is often a more powerful neighborhood draw than the homes themselves. Simply being within the bussing zone of a good school district improves the property value of your neighborhood, but actually being within safe walking distance of one is incredibly powerful.
2) Close to Shopping Centers and City Features
Of course, it’s not just schools that shape a resident’s lifestyle. The restaurants, shops, parks, and other public features of the neighborhood determine who will enjoy living there. If you are close to your city’s downtown center, your neighborhood is likely to be more desirable to professionals while proximity to laid-back shopping centers and family restaurants will make your neighborhood more appealing to families. If there are enjoyable nearby venues, your neighborhood is likely to be in a good spot for property values.
3) Well Lit Walking Paths
Every city handles its local maintenance a little differently, but often neighborhoods can take responsibility for their own local upkeep. Crummier parts of town tend to be badly lit with broken sidewalks because nobody takes pride in the area enough to fix it up and maintain it. A good neighborhood, on the other hand, will have sidewalks in good repair, well-lit by a collection of street lamps and safe yard lighting from the helpful neighbors.
4) Consistent Neighborhood Curb Appeal
You can always tell a neighborhood that’s begun to deteriorate because a few of the homes will look much shabbier than the others. This can happen because owners stop caring about a home, let it stand vacant and unsold for too long, or because something else has gone wrong. However, if you can look all the way up and down your street and all the homes are well-kept and attractive, you’re in a good neighborhood in which all the other homeowners are working hard to maintain their own and each other’s property values.
5) Active HOA Participation
The final mark of a thriving little investment-worthy community is an active HOA or home owner’s association. While a neighborhood doesn’t need an HOA to be great (not all neighborhoods have one), an active HOA is a good sign that your area is actively managed by concerned fellow homeowners. In fact, an HOA’s primary mandate is to protect and enhance the property values for every owner on the block.
So is your home in a great investment neighborhood? If you have a positive answer for two or more of these points, then there’s a very high chance that your home will continue to appreciate in value over time. For more great real estate investment tips and tricks, contact us today!