Don't be so Shallow. Judging a Neighborhood by Looks Alone can be Deceiving
by Donny Mak
on Wednesday, October 19th, 2011 at 1:00am.
By: Alan Aptheker
There are other relevant factors to consider, apart from the initial neighborhood "look and feel" that typically turns a buyer on or off when looking for a home, with very little gray in between. A September Blog post at Bankrate.com talks about "How a Neighborhood Holds Property Value."
It's a good time now, with low, low home prices, for buyers to consider a neighborhood that will likely hold its value over the long haul. How can you tell? Jobs and access to amenities. More after the break...
Andrew Schiller, creator of NeighborhoodScout.com, says certain signs imply that long-term job opportunities can exist in better numbers in certain neighborhoods, even those you might not think would fit the bill: low unemployment, high household income, quality schools, colleges and universities, and proximity to federal or state government offices. Schiller says that the Bureau of Labor Statistics is a good resource for this kind of information. Look closely at the "Local Area Unemployment Statistics map," with unemployment data by city, county and metro area. You can also look at "Current Employment Statistics," which show how many people are employed in different sectors of the economy in a certain area.
So think about looking beyond a viable neighborhood's imperfections. They are not always the best sign of the long-term value of a home. There's also other things to consider like nearby green spaces.