Choosing Your Neighborhood When You Buy

  Choosing Your Neighborhood When You Buy    


     Not too long ago, my wife received a call from one of our neighbors.  The neighbor was asking Marilyn to come over immediately, as she had cut herself and needed help. 


     She wanted to know first though ... could Marilyn see blood, apply a butterfly, and not pass out?  My wife could, so she ran over and assisted.


     This incident got me thinking.  Neighbors ... and neighborhoods  are important. They can determine (to a large extent) the quality of our lives.  In small and big ways ... and as we found out, even in some very unexpected ways.


     Our family has always been blessed with great neighbors in each of the homes we've owned.  In fact, when we lived in our first home in Mokena, we, and each surrounding neighbor, jokingly said if one of us moved, we all did.  


     There was a real bond forged between us there.  We each realized how fortunate we were to have each other ... and what a unique and wonderful blend of neighbors we were.  


     Although each family eventually went their own way, the sentiment we held during that time is strong proof ...


     The act of choosing a home shouldn't be taken lightly. The criteria used to make a choice of neighborhood needs to go way beyond that of home design and price. 


     The old adage regarding the choice of a home remains true for so many reasons:  It's still ... location, location, location.


     So what criteria regarding a neighborhood should be sought and considered prior to signing a Contract on a home purchase? 


     I think the answer lies in what you as a Buyer considers personally important to the quality of your life.  What you depend on most.  


     Consider:  What location best suits and supports your lifestyle?  What will your proximity be to the business services you use most often?  How close or accessible will you be to all those things that matter most? 


     What else might be considered?

  •   Parks  
  •   Grocery/Shopping
  •   Libraries
  •   Doctors/Hospitals
  •   Schools/School Districts
  •   Churches
  •   Ages of neighborhood population
  •   Transportation/Commuting/Proximity to commuting/highways
  •   Proximity to their employment
  •   Taxing bodies/Taxes
  •   Restaurants Entertainment/Activities/Theaters
  •   Community Comprehensive Planning (something too often overlooked)
  •   Community Services - Police, Fire, Water, Sewer, etc.
  •   Location within the neighborhood, i.e. corner lot, busy streets, surrounding properties
  •   Crime rates
  •   Population/Density
  •   Noise Levels of Area
  •   Odors or Air Contaminants
  •   More ...


     Now my wife will tell you, there are pros and cons to living with a LO that was also a Real Estate Appraiser.  


     After our boys were gone and out on their own, we decided to downsize from our family's large home.  We looked way beyond any potential new purchase's appearance and price point.  Marilyn will confirm, there was a long list of items considered with each potential prospect.       


     Our plans then (and still are) to remain in our new home for the long term.  But future circumstances could always arise to change that.  


     Life can be surprising and a bit fickle.  All Buyers should keep that fact in mind.  View each potential purchase with a future Seller's eye.


     Also remember: You're not just buying a house. You're buying a neighborhood  too.  


     Hopefully, a neighborhood filled with neighbors so caring that they can be called upon in a moment's notice to offer a cup of sugar ... or help to place a butterfly on a friendly hand after an emergency ...        


     *  Receive neighborly mortgage advice and service when buying your new home in the perfect Chicagoland, IL, or Wisconsin neighborhood.  (Or Refinancing).  Contact me today!

     I can be easily found at:

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Gene Mundt

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Good reflections Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi . When you live in a rural State like ND either your town has it or it doesn't (it being what you are looking for). The entire town is a neighborhood.

Posted by Bob "RealMan" Timm, Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor (Ward County Notary Services) over 4 years ago


Buyers are not just looking for a home, they are seeking a neighborhood that feels right to them and offers what they want and need. Some have a better idea than others. It's pretty rare that amenities, commuting, schools and other local issues aren't important and that it's ony about the house. Too many times I've had buyers find a home they liked but they did not like the community, and so they moved on. It's something different for each person.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) over 4 years ago

Hi Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi what a great topic..... certainly featureworthy!! Buyers are always concerned about the area and the people who live's common to see a potential buyer return to the area unannounced just to have the opportunity to see what goes on and have the chance to speak with a future neighbor.... that's often the final "close" for that buyer....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired ) over 4 years ago

Very well said Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi I love your blog and how you say it 

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) over 4 years ago

Gene that is a very thorough list of things to consider. 

By the way my wife shares your wife's opinion about living with an LO ..... LOL

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 4 years ago

Each of our three homes we have owned I prayed we would not have problem neighbors. It really can be a crap shoot. We have been very lucky. I can't imagine having to live in a neighborhood where you don't like or have issues with neighbors.

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) over 4 years ago

Hi Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi ,

What a wonderful topic! I always encourage my buyer to find the neighborhood that best fits their needs and then find the house! I encourage my buyers to reach out to their soon to be it a good fit? Hope this post is featured!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899) over 4 years ago

As we age we can not always know what is going to happen. Tripped, fall down, passed out, mugged. Our neighbor is more important than distance relatives or friend....... We need to have quality neighbors.....

Posted by Sam Shueh, mba, cdpe, reopro, pe ( (408) 425-1601) over 4 years ago

It is great when one lives in a community where they like their neighbors.  Sometimes it is difficult to know who is living next door  - in a hot market there is not a chance to do some drivebys and talk to other in the vicinity.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 4 years ago

We have been fortunate to have had very good neighbor's in all our previous homes and current home.

It's very important to hang around and talk to the neighbors before buying your next home. It's the only way to get a feel for the neighborhood and to find out what's going on. Drive by all days of week and different times during the day.

Posted by Athina Boukas, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) (Virginia Capital Realty) over 4 years ago

Good morning Gene. You might not necessarily have the opportunity to meet your potential neighbors, but there may be hint as what they might be like.

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) over 4 years ago

Hi Gene.  What a wonderful post that I am in complete agreement with.  All to many people settle for home features and don't consider the importance of the location and neighbors.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) over 4 years ago

Yes, having wonderful neighbors can definitely make the stay in that home much more pleasant. And there are many attributes of a neighborhood that buyers may want to check out before they move - your list is a great start!

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty) over 4 years ago

This is a big factor not talked about enough. Not only picking the right neighborhood but hoping for some good neighbors too. If you get both..BINGO

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 4 years ago

Gene, That is so true.  I know my own neighborhood in which I have lived for 32 years is not nearly as friendly as it once was. Neighbors come and go … that’s the nature of condo living. We still have some original owners living here but for the most part … it seems we all just stick to our self.  If a neighbor needed help … I would sure be there for them. 

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist, Probate Real Estate (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) over 4 years ago

Gene, I had a young couple ask why a certain home hadn't sold. It was on the market for nearly 240 days. I said, "Look at the neighbors." That's a good place to start. The house was nearly perfect, in a desirable neighborhood, and it was priced very well. Neighbors can make a home a gift, or they can make it a nightmare.

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 4 years ago

Hi Gene - Very useful thoughts on a subject that often doesn't get the consideration it deserves. We always try to ensure that our buyers think about your criteria.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) over 4 years ago

Great post that should have buyers thinking carefully about the list you provided.  Sometimes it just good luck to end up with a street full of neighbors that you actually like - but the more research done, the better chance of a pleasurable outcome.

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Gene, we live on five acres and don't really have much contact with our neighbors but there have been a few times Tom needed help lifting heavy items and I neighbor always came to the rescue. We built a house nine years ago that's a one-level. We plan on staying here a loooooong time.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 4 years ago

Everything you said is super important however, the concept of "choosing your neighbors" should be limited to kind, quiet, conscientious, clean, polite etc. Anything else comes dangerously close to fair housing which is an issue alive and well in 2016 surburbia.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) over 4 years ago

Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi - so true it is! And that's part of my 'educational consultation' with first time home buyers! Very well written post.

Want to highlight this statement - so true, it is...

"The act of choosing a home shouldn't be taken lightly. "

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) over 4 years ago

Another aspect of buying a home that needs to be considered much more prior to signing on the dotted line Gene. Great post and congrats on the feature!

Posted by Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!, So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR (Red Rock Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Hi Gene - location has so much to do with whether a home feels right.  There are many emotions tied up in a home selection.


Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) over 4 years ago

Congratulations on your feature recognition.

Thanks for sharing your experience and your advice.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) over 4 years ago

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