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4 features to look for in a neighborhood

Though a home loan is certainly vital, there is more to the ideal dwelling beyond just price and interest rates. Here are four features to consider.
9/9/2016 12:11:23 PM

When searching for the perfect home, it can be easy to get caught up in the details of a residential mortgage. Though a home loan is certainly vital, there is more to the ideal dwelling beyond just the price and interest rates attached to it. Here are four features to consider:


One of the most important aspects of a neighborhood to keep in mind, especially if moving with children, is safety. U.S. News and World Report suggested checking to read up on crime in your potential new home's area.

School Districts

For parents moving their children to a new school, it's important to know the quality of the school district. Everyone wants their kids to get a good education, and moving to a neighborhood that's within a good school district is one step in that direction.

"Homes located in good school districts retain their value well."

However, even homeowners who don't have school-aged children or plan to homeschool can benefit from moving to a good school district. Trulia pointed out that homes located in good school districts retain their value better than homes in lower-quality districts. These homes are also quicker to sell, creating less of a headache if and when the decision is made to move out. 

Local Parks

According to, parks are among the top amenities for homebuyers. A good park is great for homebuyers with children. However, it's important to note the quality of the park. If it looks run-down, unkempt or surprisingly vacant on a sunny Saturday afternoon, it could be a sign it isn't cared for.

"Parks are among the most telling signs of the condition of a neighborhood," explained John Gutman, the director of sales and acquisitions at Mack Companies, a company that redevelops single-family homes in the Midwest. "In areas where the infrastructure is strong, and where residents are involved and take care of the neighborhood, you'll be able to see it through the condition of the park."

The Commute

When considering a home, take into account how far away it is from other important locations, including:

  • Your place of work
  • A grocery store
  • An urgent care or health care facility
  • A cafe

If you love a home and the neighborhood, but going to work every morning is stressful due to a long commute, you may end up regretting your purchase. Take a test drive once or twice to see if it's something you can manage before you finalize the deal. Once you find the right home in the right location, you'll be happy you took the time to do a little research on the neighborhood.

Academy Mortgage is one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country as ranked in the 2015 CoreLogic Marketrac Report. Visit to find a loan, get a rate, or calculate your payment today.