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3 Things To Look Out For In Neighbourhoods

What should you look out for in neighbourhoods?

An aerial view over a neighbourhood
What might you look out for in neighbourhoods?

Neighbourhood and community factors will make a big difference to your enjoyment of a new home - and also its prospects for future capital growth. Here are some of the things we have learned to look out for in neighbourhoods.

Are all the essential shops and services in the area, and how are they presented?

Drive around and look for the local grocery store, church, gas station, cafes etc. While you’re at it, take a good look at the community’s main shopping centre. If the local shopping centre is in decline, chances are that the neighbourhood is in decline as well. If there are a lot of vacant shops in the neighbourhood, it might be a good idea to explore other options.

Be careful about future developments

In New Zealand there tends to be a preference to want to live handy to a neighbourhood centre. However, it is generally unwise to choose a property that adjoins that centre. Try to find a property perhaps a street or two away from the centre. Why?

Shopping areas tend to be zoned for more intensive use than residential zones. The shops next door may be redeveloped at some stage, perhaps into a multi-storey office or apartment block. This could have a substantial detrimental affect on sunlight and privacy to an adjoining residential property.

Check the zoning of the property you are interested in and the properties that surround it. This will help alleviate the possibility that your property could be built out in the future.

Is your street a vehicle thoroughfare?

The ideal property provides easy access to local highways, major traffic routes and major thoroughfares, as well as to public transport. But try to avoid purchasing a house located on a street that is a favourite shortcut of motorists between busier streets.

To spot these short-cuts it's a good idea to visit the property during peak traffic hours - generally when people are going to work or going home. You will then see how much traffic the street experiences during peak times.

Also, a house located on a corner lot tends to attract more traffic and may not be as safe for children. Vehicles braking and accelerating at corners and intersections create additional noise at these locations. Instead, try to find a house that is in the middle of the block or in a cul de sac.


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