When you buy a home, you’re not just buying the great kitchen and the yard, you’re also buying the neighborhood. There are so many great neighborhoods in Silicon Valley, each with its own vibe and personality, you want to find the one that fits with your current lifestyle and values, and gives you easy access to the activities you love.
If you’re thinking of moving, here are 10 things to look for in your prospective neighborhoods.
1. It fits with your current lifestyle.
If you have young kids, you probably don’t want to live next to college kids throwing parties and if you’re a young professional you probably want to mingle with other young professionals. When you’re looking for your new home, pay attention to whom your neighbors will be. Will your kids have friends their age in the neighborhood? Will you?
2. It’s close to recreation.
Whether you’re a runner, a biker, a hiker or a beach-lover, you want to buy a home that will allow you to incorporate the activities you love into your everyday life.
3. It’s a healthy neighborhood.
Healthy neighborhoods are where people of all ages can be active. One of the best things about Silicon Valley is the weather allows you to be active outside for most of the year, so whether there’s a gym close by, a recreation center or a park, you want to know you have options.
4. It has great schools.
If you have children, this is a no brainer. But even if you don’t, great local schools will increase your property’s value, which means more money when you go to sell it.
5. It has gathering places.
A great neighborhood promotes sociability. Whether it’s a community center, coffee shop or park, you want to have places where people in the community congregate.
6. It’s safe.
Whether you’re playing with your kids or walking your dog, you want to feel safe in your neighborhood. A great way to know whether your neighborhood is safe is to check the local crime statistics. There are several websites that will breakdown the dates and types of crimes in the vicinity of your address allowing you to gauge the safety of the neighborhood.
7. It’s close to shopping, restaurants and entertainment.
When shopping for a home you want to ask yourself, “What am I going to be doing on a Saturday night or Sunday afternoon?” A great neighborhood will have plenty of restaurant, shopping and entertainment options nearby.
8. It has special character.
Great neighborhoods have their own unique character that sets them apart. Whether it’s the history of the place, the culture or interesting architecture, you want to look for a community that feels like home when you walk around it.
9. It’s close to city services.
In addition to recreation and entertainment, you want to live near fire and police stations, libraries, community centers and other city amenities. Not only will you feel safer, you’ll also feel more connected to the neighborhood.
10. It’s well-maintained.
Believe it or not, the upkeep of your neighbor’s house affects your property value. So you want to be in a neighborhood where the homes show pride of ownership. That means the yards are maintained, broken windows are fixed and paint is refreshed before it begins to peel.
Neighborhoods are like life partners, you just need to find the perfect one for you. Look for safe neighborhoods that meet your daily needs and offer different ways for you to meet and socialize with your neighbors. If you’re happy with your neighborhood, you’re more likely to be happy with your house.