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Tips for Finding Neighborhoods with Stable Home Prices

Many home buyers have found themselves wondering whether it is possible to locate neighborhoods where home prices are not on the decline. Given the way in which values around the country have deteriorated, it is certainly a valid question. In searching for neighborhoods where home prices will remain relatively stable, it is important to look for several characteristics that naturally make certain neighborhoods more sought-after than others. These are the neighborhoods that have a better tendency to maintain stable home prices.

Although many home buyers are focused on price today, this type of narrow vision can be somewhat shortsighted. For instance, keep in mind that even if you obtain a good deal on a home in a neighborhood where values declined sharply, it could take quite some time for prices in that area to recover. The best course of action is to look beyond the price of the home to qualities that ensure neighborhoods remain attractive to home buyers over the long-term. At the same time, make an effort to match the priorities for your lifestyle to those available within the community. Most importantly, look for a neighborhood you will really enjoy, especially well into the future. This is the best way to ensure you get the most value from your home.

The most desirable neighborhoods are often near a city and are well-established. Neighborhoods that have maintained prices above the median appeal to buyers because they are solid and convenient. Try to avoid areas where there have been a lot of foreclosures. These neighborhoods often take longer for homes to regain value. Neighborhoods in which there were many first-time home buyers were often hit hard because the buyers did not have a lot equity in their homes. Therefore, these homeowners are often the first to default on their mortgages. If you can afford to do so, it is usually better to purchase in an area that is considered to be a 'move-up' area. Neighborhoods that have long-term residents, usually where owners have lived for at least 15 years; are usually going to be more stable. There will be fewer foreclosures in these areas.

You should also consider other factors when looking for neighborhoods,including availability of public transportation and commute times. While not everyone desires to live near a city, you should keep in mind that some neighborhoods in the suburbs have become more vulnerable to price declines. Prices have dropped significantly in certain suburbs because the longer commute times ultimately made those homes less desirable to buyers. Distance to public transportation can be quite valuable to buyers. Homes that are near a metro or train line are always going to maintain their value. In addition, keep an eye out for neighborhoods that offer close proximity to important employment centers. These areas will also be more attractive to buyers.

In addition, look for communities that offer numerous amenities. The more amenities that are offered in a community, the more valuable that neighborhood will be. Typically, neighborhoods that offer basketball and tennis courts will maintain stronger values that communities where you have to drive to reach anything. People want to live near amenities such as shops, libraries and parks and they will usually be willing to pay more to be able to walk such amenities rather than drive.

Look for neighborhoods that are located within good school districts as well. This is important even if you do not have children of your own. Families will always want to buy homes in neighborhoods near good schools. Keep in mind that real estate agents are not allowed to discuss whether a school is good or bad due to Fair Housing laws. Even so, homebuyers can locate test scores as well as other statistics related to school districts online.

You should also make a point to know the local crime rate. Crimes rates can have a tremendous influence on the value of a neighborhood. Take the time to view police district websites. You can also call the local police station or substation to inquire about crime statistics for that individual neighborhood. Consider crime trends; you certainly do not want to purchase in a neighborhood where crime rates are on the rise.

Consider the curb appeal of the neighborhood. The physical appearance of a neighborhood can provide an indication of its stability as well. If there are numerous homes that are in disrepair, this can indicate a lack of pride in the overall community. On the other hand, homes that have landscaping and are well-kept indicate people are willing to work hard to maintain their homes' values.

Finally, make a point to learn about any future plans for development that could affect property values either positively or negatively.



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