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A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

When we’re looking to buy a new home, one of the first things we do is create a wishlist.  What goes on that list varies.  Maybe it’s a kitchen with all stainless steel appliances, or a large backyard for the dog to run around in, or enough bedrooms so none of the kids have to double up.  One thing many of us fail to include on our list is what we look for in a neighborhood and neighbors.  But neighbors can make or break your living experience in a new home.  Unfortunately, unlike touring a house, you can’t take perspective neighbors for a test drive.  Here are X tips and tricks to evaluating a neighborhood before buying your dream home:

  1. Say Hello

It might feel obvious, but introduce yourself to neighbors before closing on your new home.  Go the old-fashioned route and knock on a few doors.  Introduce yourself and explain you’re looking to buy on their street.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions, but also don’t treat it like an interrogation.  Notice how your perspective neighbors talk not only to you, but about one another.  The last thing you want is to find yourself in the middle of a Neighborhood Association feud!

More than that, look at who is living in the neighborhood.  If you have kids, you probably want other nearby children for playmates.  Or if you’re looking for something quieter, then a street filled with small children might not be for you!  Take the extra time to have some conversations—it will be well worth it down the road.

  1. Look for Warning Signs

Sometimes these warning signs will be literal signs: that is to say, For Sale signs.  One or two are par for the course, but if every other yard is looking to sell, proceed with caution.  If everyone is bailing on a street, chances are there is a good reason.  However, this isn’t necessarily a deal breaker.  Evaluate the types of houses in the neighborhood: for example, if it’s a street of mostly starter homes, families probably are moving up to larger homes.

While you’re looking at the other properties, think about how cared for the majority of the yards are.  Most neighborhoods have one or two cluttered yards, but again—what does the street as a whole look like?  You take pride in your home, and you want to be surrounded by neighbors who do the same!  Take note on if the lawns are mowed, the yards well-kept, etc.

  1. Compare and Contrast

Take the time to visit several neighborhoods in the area, especially if you’re looking to move to a new city that you are less familiar with.  You may find that you are more drawn to a certain area than another, something you can’t know without visiting.  Trust your gut!  When you find a neighborhood that you can easily see yourself living in, go for it.  Or, conversely, when your gut tells you it isn’t a good fit, trust that.  After all, your house isn’t the only place you’ll be living!  Make sure that your neighborhood fits your wish list requirements as well!

At Helgeson Platzke Real Estate Group, we are proud to be a member of Eden Prairie’sesteemed small business community.  Since 1995, we’ve offered the very best in Twin Cities real estate, earning our community’s trust as the #1 Sales Team in the Eden Prairie area.  With over 4,500 homes sold, our staff has both the knowledge and experience necessary to ensure that your home ownership goals are delivered.  So, if you’re considering buying or selling your Eden Prairie area home this summer, now is the time to enlist the help of a real estate professional who can help you make the most of this season’s extraordinary market.