Potential buyers of a new home assess the home’s space, features, and materials. What they sometimes forget to take a long look at are the neighborhood amenities. These can do a lot to increase quality of life. They also help to build a home’s value over time, so that the home is a better investment. Consider the following:
1. Grocery Stores
These often get overlooked, but think about how often you go to the store to buy groceries. A 5-minute trip vs. a 20-30-minute trip makes a huge difference to your leisure time when you have to stop by two or more times a week.
The workplace is different for everyone, but proximity to your job is crucial. A 15-minute drive five days a week adds up to 2.5 hours round trip in the car every week. A 45 minute drive is like tacking an extra hour and a half of work to your day, every day. That’s 7.5 hours a week, or 30 hours a month. That’s nearly equivalent to tacking on an extra work-week just for driving!
You get the idea of how much commuting time can impact the amount of free time you have. This is a big reason that proximity to schools also matters. In many neighborhoods, proximity means walking to school is also an option. When it comes to resale to new potential buyers, being close to a highly rated school can drastically increase the value of your home.
4. Fitness Accessibility
Staying in shape is much easier when there are gyms, pools, or other fitness options nearby. Even if you don’t exercise or stay in shape in other ways, proximity to these facilities can do a lot to increase resale value down the road.
Parks look good and provide areas to walk through. They may have attractions like a fountain, a pond for watching birds, or an area for dogs. These neighborhood amenities have some hidden benefits as well. Keeping these open spaces reduces the population density of an area, giving everyone a bit more room to stretch as well as reducing traffic. Regular access to nature can also help reduce stress levels.
6. Local Shops
Successful retail areas signal that a neighborhood is likely to grow. An area that can support independent shops or chain retailers that you wouldn’t normally see in a residential area will hold special appeal.
A homeowners association can help provide a number of perks for living in the area. These may include access to recreational facilities (pool, golf course, tennis courts, etc.) or help pay for maintenance on features that set the neighborhood apart. Make sure that fees are reasonable, but the benefits and access will usually outweigh the yearly dues.
8. Unique Access
If the neighborhood has something unique that creates an identity, this will often make it extremely appealing. This could mean neighborhood amenities already covered here, such as a popular park or row of well-liked shops. It could mean you’re walking distance to a beautiful beach or close to a local stadium. Anything positive that makes a neighborhood unique will be incredibly appealing to potential buyers.
What neighborhood amenities do you value most?