If houses are like spouses, a neighborhood is like the extended family. It’s important to consider the community you’ll be in when deciding which home is right for you. If you plan on living in Redding, CA, use this guide to choose your neighborhood and make sure you love where you live.
Step 1: Your Perfect Neighborhood
Before you start scrutinizing neighborhoods, turn the magnifying glass back on yourself.
Think about what you’re really looking for in a new neighborhood. Remember, you’ll probably have to make compromises, so put the “must-haves” at the top and the “would- like-to-haves” at the bottom.
Here are some things to consider:
Do you have children or are you planning to have children anytime soon? Parents know that the first thing to do when looking at a neighborhood is to research the school system. Even if you’re single, living in an area with a much sought-after school system raises your property value. If you have kids, you’ll also want to live close to parks and community centers.
What type of home do you want? Are you interested in a single-family home or an apartment, townhouse or co-op? If having a garage is important to you, don’t waste time looking at apartments. Think about what your lifestyle will look like during the next 3-5 years, and consider your priorities. You may be looking for downtown entertainment options, or you might be more concerned with a safe, family friendly neighborhood.
How far are you willing to commute? Do you want to be able to go places on foot? If you’re a coffee junkie, having a Starbucks down the street may be a dream come true. Would you like to be in the middle of the action, or a step outside the city away from the crowds?
Do you want to be in a historic neighborhood or a new development? Historic neighborhoods have tons of character, but often require lots of repair work and are governed by community associations with strict standards. Newer developments have more modern features, but are typically farther from the heart of the city.
Step 2: Hone in on the Areas You Like
If you already live within Redding, you likely know the various neighborhoods. Choose the ones that best match the list of wants that you’ve created. If you’re moving here for the first-time, you’ll have to do more research. Drive around Redding, talk to real estate agents, and focus on the side of town where you work. Hone in on which area of the city you want to be in. Then, compile all the background information you can.
Once you’ve done the background research, visit neighborhoods that made the preliminary grade in person. There’s no better way to paint a real picture of life in the neighborhood.
Use your senses to get a complete picture of the prospective community:
Sights – Remember your first impression, it only happens once. What do you notice first about the neighborhood? Do the streets have curb appeal? Are the houses well-maintained? Visualize yourself in the neighborhood. Think of your daily routine. Observe the neighborhood at different times of the day. These visual clues can help you decide if you’ll fit in.
Sounds – Stop and listen. How’s the noise from the surrounding parts of town? What do you hear? Talk to your future neighbors. Ask how they like the area, and get the dirt on anything they don’t like about the place. What do they want to change? What’s their favorite place to hang out? Talk to as many people as you can and it will give you an idea of what your neighbors will be like.
Tastes – No, you can’t actually taste the neighborhood. But you can idea ask yourself if the neighborhood matches your personal preferences. How are the aesthetics? What’s the vibe of the houses?
Step 3: Finish the Deal
You’ve chosen the neighborhood that’s the right place for you to live in Redding. Now for the hard part: finding a house you love. Luckily, you’ve narrowed it down to a few streets.
Pay close attention to these final steps:
Draw up the vision of your home. It worked for your neighborhood – now think about what you want in a home. Write your own vision of home and stick to it while you’re house hunting.
Find out how much house you can afford. Getting pre-approved and knowing how much you can spend shows sellers that they can take you seriously.
Compare your loan options. Ask yourself these basic questions to find out what mortgage is right for you. Decide between fixed and adjustable rate mortgages by talking to a loan officer to see which loan term is best for you.
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