Finding a great neighborhood can be a challenge for home buyers. There are so many factors to consider: price, school district, crime rates, amenities, and more. You probably have an idea of what your ideal neighborhood looks like. Have you considered what the neighborhood red flags might be? We’ve compiled of list of things that could potentially affect your home value, resale potential, and general neighborhood contentment.
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1. Most expensive house on the block.
If the value of the home you are considering is significantly higher than the rest of the neighborhood, you might be overpaying. If this is okay with you, it’s okay with us. But keep in mind that buying the most expensive house in the neighborhood isn’t the best idea when it’s time to sell the house.
2. One of these things is not like the other.
If the aesthetics of the home differ from the rest of the neighborhood, this could affect your home value. Extra thought is needed if you are considering a bright green house in a neighborhood full of neutral exterior colors.
3. Lack of maintenance throughout the neighborhood.
How is the overall condition of the other homes in the neighborhood? Is there a lot of disrepair? Are the yards overgrown and full of weeds? If so, this could be indicative of a possible value decrease of your home purchase if the neighborhood continues to decay.
Related Reading: Tips for Researching Neighborhoods
4. Nighttime Shenanigans.
I always advise my buyers to drive the streets of the neighborhood at night to get a good idea of what a Saturday night might look like. Research crime rates on sites like My Neighborhood Update. Talk to neighbors and they will tell you anything and everything you want to know about a house, a street or a neighborhood. (You’ll sometimes need to take this information with a grain of salt).
5. No parking.
It can sometimes be a red flag if there is very little or no parking on the street in the neighborhood. This could mean there is simply no space, or that the Home Owners Association is extremely strict. This is a consideration if you have frequent guests or you have multiple cars in your family because of teenage drivers.
Do you see graffiti or tagging on fences or in public areas? Depending on the graffiti, it could point to neighborhood issues
7. Cookie Cutter Vibe.
Explore how restrictive the HOA is if all of the homes are too similar. It could be an issue that could cause stress for you if you decide to make modifications to the landscaping and exterior of your home.
Related Reading: Is Colorado Springs Safe?
8. High turnover.
Has turnover in the neighborhood increased in recent years? Time to investigate if that is just happenstance or if there is an underlying reason.
9. Alternative porch furniture.
Sofas, couches, or other inside furniture on patio or yard could be an indication that there is a lack of upkeep in the area. Time to do more research.
10. Undeveloped land.
Are there large parcels of undeveloped land around your neighborhood? Research what uses they are currently zoned for and decide if you’re okay with that. Understand that the zoning can change over time, so a piece of land listed as single-family residential could shift to something different in the future.
Related Reading: Colorado Springs Neighborhoods
All of these points are simply things to contemplate when house hunting. Is it a deal breaker if the neighborhood you love has one of these red flags? Not necessarily, but it should warrant further research. Keep in mind that you can change pretty much anything about a house — except the location. As real estate agents, we point out facts and provide resources, but we are not here to judge or convince buyers to buy in a particular neighborhood. We provide, you decide.