You have searched and searched and finally - you have found that perfect house that has everything you want in your next home! But the house has only been on the market for a few hours - and there are already multiple offers on it! If you want it, you have to make a strong offer, pay top dollar - and you have to do it right away!
Welcome to the 2018 Richmond Virginia real estate market! But buyers are asking what happens when the market cools - and it will eventually do so! My tip - make sure you are in a great neighborhood! Remember - location, location, location! So just how do you find a great neighborhood? "Great neighborhood" is in the eye of the beholder - so here are my tips for finding a great neighborhood (in no particular order)!
Know the demographics of the neighborhood! A great site to look at is Homefair.com! Here you can find things like the median income, the household size, the median age - and so much more!
Check the crime statistics for the area! Call the local police department - they will let you know what is happening in the area!
Look at the Property Tax Trends! Most people like to know what the price of the home is in relation to the real estate property taxes, but most people don't look at the trends of the taxes! This is a great thing to look at property taxes here are based on fair market value!
Look at the Schools! Even if you don't have kids that will be going to the schools, knowing the schools that the home is in will have an impact on your resale!
Look at the WalkScore! If you want to be close to restaurants, parks, trails, etc. a great way to see how walkable things are is to check the score at WalkScore.com!
Check the Virginia Sex Offender Website! If knowing if there are sex offenders registered with the Virginia State Police is important to you, check this out! Remember, this is not something that you have a right to terminate a contract on once you have a ratified contract!
Talk to the Neighbors! Visit the neighborhood in the day and at night after work; even drive through during the weekday and also on the weekend! Look to see if there are a lot of For Sale signs (could mean nothing - or it could mean there is some sort of problem)! Look to see if there are any unkept yards or houses (there may be one which wouldn't mean much - but if there are a lot of them, this may spell a bigger problem)!
Check the Neighborhood Blogs & HOA Websites! There are a lot of neighborhoods throughout the Richmond area that have their own blog site! And a lot of neighborhoods have a website for the Homeowners Association that you can check out!
Look at Google Maps! The internet is a great thing - you can learn so much about the neighborhood without ever leaving your home! So go to Google and plug in an address in the neighborhood and take a "drive" through the neighborhood! You can see what is around the neighborhood (good and bad)!
Go Social! And while you are on the internet, why not get onto the social media sites & other sites like Yelp to find out a bit more about the neighborhood! Go to Instagram and Facebook and see if you can find out anything about the neighborhood. You may even want to try Nextdoor to see if the neighborhood has a Nextdoor Neighborhood you can check out!
Check out the Resales! Finally, look at what has been selling in the neighborhood, how fast they are selling, are the homes getting top dollar!
Of course, I realize that it is hard to do this on the same day that you may need to make an offer on a house, but when you start out looking for homes, you will begin to narrow down to different areas and different neighborhoods! Do a lot of your homework before you find the perfect house - this way if you have to pay top dollar for your home, you will be comfortable not only with the house but also the neighborhood!
Thinking of buying a home? Thinking of selling your home? Have a question on real estate? I am happy to help! Feel free to contact me!