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The Times
  • What buyers are looking for

  • Many home buyers think that the neighborhood in which they will live should be just as important a choice as their future abode. While the proximity of public transportation or the quality of local schools may not be important to you, those criteria could be a dealmaker to a prospective buyer when you want to sell your home.

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  • Many home buyers think that the neighborhood in which they will live should be just as important a choice as their future abode. While the proximity of public transportation or the quality of local schools may not be important to you, those criteria could be a dealmaker to a prospective buyer when you want to sell your home.
    Evaluate whether your neighborhood meets some common-sense, quality-of-life standards that many people expect when they buy a home.
    • Drive through the neighborhood at different times of the day or evening. During early morning hours, you’ll be able to observe how efficiently residents get to work and students get to school. During the daytime, you’ll also see how properties, including alleys, are maintained. An evening or night visit will allow you to discover rush-hour traffic density and traffic noise, street parking availability and how well streets are lit to ensure safety.
    • Walk or ride your bicycle through the neighborhood to get a closer look at public places such as schools, playgrounds and parks.
    • Talk to local shop and business owners. They may offer a different perspective about the area than homeowners and could give you some insight into plans for commercial development.
    • Check your neighborhood for opening and closing times of coffee shops, restaurants and essential amenity providers, such as supermarkets and drugstores. How close to each other are service providers located? Is parking convenient?
    • Visit the nearest hospital to ensure their quality and proximity in case of an emergency.
    • Assess the convenience and availability of public transportation. With today’s high fuel costs, hopping a train or bus to work may be a better option for your prospective buyer. Pick up bus and train schedules and locate taxi stands.
    • Surf the Web for community-related sites and message boards where local residents may sound off on local projects, ordinances, proposed property- or sales-tax increases and redevelopment plans.
    • Check with the local police about crime statistics and neighborhood watch groups. Most states post online the names and addresses of convicted sex offenders.
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