For many, buying a home is one of the most important decisions a person can make. Finding the right home is not just a matter of falling in love with a floor plan. A homebuyer also is buying into a neighborhood, which might have a vibrant location—and correspondingly vibrant residents. Perhaps you’re looking for a neighborhood that is home to one of the best school districts in the state or features some key amenities that make many neighborhoods truly shine.
As the housing market continues to remain robust, many homeowners looking to purchase their first (or next) abode should ask a key question: “What do we need to look for in our next neighborhood?” When evaluating new neighborhoods every buyer will have a list of what is important to them. Some of the more common things the team at Key Land Homes sees include the school district the neighborhood falls under; how long the commute is to work; and how close the neighborhood is to parks, walking trails, and local dog parks.
“There are many things one should consider, but each homeowner has their own wish list and what will be important to them,” says Colton Rivard, real estate agent for Key Land Homes.
Todd Stutz, president of Robert Thomas Homes, says that neighborhood amenities such as trails, parks, clubhouses, and pools can really make any neighborhood a one-stop shop, and help homeowners feel like they have everything they need just minutes away.
“School districts may also be very important to families with small children, and the proximity to amenities such as shopping, dining, and entertainment can be very convenient,” Stutz says. “All of these features create a sense of community and pride amongst the homeowners.”
And because we are spending so much more time in our homes and neighborhoods, outdoor recreational spaces are being sought after by homeowners right now. Neighborhood trails, playgrounds, ice rinks, ponds, and lakes provide activities for everyone to enjoy and feel safe. Of course, some neighborhood amenities come with a price tag, so thoroughly evaluate any homeowners’ association fees that may be included.
“In addition, sustainability is very important to a lot of today’s homeowners,” Stutz says. “Neighborhoods are getting creative with ways to save the environment with water systems, land use, and creating more preserved green space.”
A potential homeowner should also consider the number of builders in a new neighborhood, as well as the quality and craftsmanship used by these builders. Look into builder reviews and talk to past clients to help evaluate the different builders within the neighborhood.
“Homeowners may not think about the value of having architectural guidelines in their desired neighborhood,” Stutz says. “But different architectural aesthetics are beneﬁcial in a neighborhood and provide long-term value.”
Of course, no neighborhood search is complete without evaluating the safety of the area. Use online resources to evaluate the crime data, demographics, and other key safety issues of a potential neighborhood. And remember that no matter how good your internet research skills are, nothing beats getting a feel for a neighborhood more than by evaluating the area in person. When you head out to explore the homes on the Parade of Homes, be sure to use the new neighborhood directory to get information on new neighborhoods across the Twin Cities.
“Neighborhoods will likely see continued shared amenities such as playgrounds, pools, clubhouses, and possibly add shared spaces for working,” Rivard says. “As we continue to navigate through the pandemic and come out on the other side of it, things will likely change in communities, but just what those changes look like have yet to unfold.”
Builder: Robert Thomas Homes
By Maura Keller