Neighborhoods can make or break homeownership. A neighborhood affects your social life, feelings of safety and security, health, and sense of belonging. We each have different aspects of a neighborhood that we value more than others. But there are certain characteristics about neighborhoods that increase the risk in investing in property at that location.

The cost of homes.

If the prices of homes are continually fluctuating, that can be an indication of a bad neighborhood. You do not want an area where the houses stay on the market for a couple of years and where the prices of homes are being dropped to a price below their initial cost. Information about how long a house has been on the market and the fluctuation of its price is generally available to the public. A realtor will also know the answer to those questions.

Appearance.

For the most part, looks are not deceiving when it comes to a neighborhood. There are a couple of key places to be sure to check out: the school, restaurants, recreational activities, streets, and transportation. If these areas seem dirty and in need of remodeling, then the neighborhood is most likely declining. Buying property in a neighborhood like that could be a poor investment and be problematic in the future.

Details.

If you have a specific home or apartment in mind, focus on the details. Depending on your preferences, houses or apartments located near railroad tracks, swamps, airports, power plants, or commercial areas could be a disturbance to you. If you have children, factors such as poor sidewalks and lots of traffic may cause you and your family safety issues.

Neighbors.

Looking and inspecting the neighborhoods and homes can help give you an evaluation of the neighbors you may have. If people are not taking care of their homes by having broken fences, weeds, lawns not mowed, shingles missing, or paint chipping, it not only indicates a declining neighborhood but also demonstrates that your neighbors may not take pride in their homes or even their community.

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