Welcome to this phase of house hunting... Thank you again for choosing to work with one of the Agents from The Nellis Group. We pride ourselves on helping you determine which home will be the best investment. As with many things the home search can be a very personal thing as you determine which house really "feels right". Many of our clients have stated that when they walked inside the house "it just feels right" or "it feels like home".
As you know, our focus is on being your Realtor for life and helping you and others with their home buying and selling which is why we believe in educating you as the buyer. There are 5 pillars that are essential to consider during the home buying process: Location, Community, School District, Convenience & Crime Reports.
LOCATION: I am sure that at one point in your life you have heard: "Location, Location, Location". Your resale will certainly depend upon your location or distance to downtown. It will also be impacted by what surrounds the home's lot. It is important to review how close your new home is to potential negatives: major streets, power lines, commercial property, schools and even Churches. We like our clients to focus on close proximity yet being "nestled". This means that your home and lot are insulated from some of the items mentioned above. Utilize the aerial/bird's eye searching with BING and the street view made available by Google to review the location.
BING: Enter the Address & then click on Road drop down and click Bird's Eye. Use the arrows to rotate the home 360 degrees so that you can review what surrounds the home/lot.
GOOGLE: Google's street view is not available in all locations. Enter the Address, Zoom in, then click on the golden man and drag him to the street you want to view. If it is available you will have the option of standing in the middle of the street (virtually) and looking around.
COMMUNITY: It is said that the first thing you ever buy is FREE. It is the community. You will not purchase a home that does not reside within a community that you don't want to live... So how do you find out more about an area? We will suggest one or two sites but ultimately we believe that you should go "knocking". That's right- knocking on the doors of neighbors. They will give you candid insight that you can get nowhere else. Many times neighbors will give you additional insight on the current state of the home you are thinking about purchasing. Consult with your Nellis Group Realtor for questions to use when interacting with the community.
Walk Score: This site allows you to see the proximity to schools, parks, restaurants, movie theaters, etc. It is really perfect for homes/areas closer to DC.
Drive Score: This is similar to walk score but built for the more rural areas or homes located on larger acreage.
SCHOOL DISTRICT: Unless you are on top of a Metro or leaving genuinely urban the school district will impact your resale. Many of our clients that do not have children nor have children that are going to school must realize that this issue will still play a role when you sell down the road. Review the school rankings at the following sites and their reviews:
Great Schools Reviews from parents on their opinion of the school system. You can compare schools to each other. This is an ideal site for someone relocating to our area and comparing your current school system.
CONVENIENCE: Many times this is highlighted with the more urban parts of DC & VA. If you are reviewing a condo or rowhouse/townhouse the resale will be increased if it is walking distance to the Metro System. If you are looking more at single family homes it will be important to be near buses or alternative methods for commuting convenience. Another method that is unknown to many relocation buyers is the term "slugging". Slugging is a method by which a driver will/can pick up total strangers in order to ride HOV lanes into DC and surrounding areas.
WMATA MAP (Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority)
VRE LINE (Virginia Railway Express)
SLUG-LINES (Free transportation for commuters)
CRIME REPORTS: Even in what you believe are the "best" areas this is something that you should investigate. There are a couple of links that will help you:
Felon Spy Convicted Felon tracking courtesy of Google Mapping
Compare Crime Rates: Compare and contrast your current city with the new one.
Thank you again for choosing The Nellis Group to help you with finding the right home. These are just some of the resources that you can utilize as a buyer when making the best choice on a home. Feel free to contact us directly for more information...