What to Look for in a Chicago Neighborhood

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You may have heard that when it comes to real estate, nothing is more important than location. You can change fixtures, finishes, curb appeal, and nearly everything else, but you can’t change what is beyond your control. That’s why it’s so important to research prospective neighborhoods thoroughly and work with a RealtorⓇ who specializes in those areas. You want to ensure that you’re obtaining the best possible home, of course, but don’t forget how important it is for a neighborhood to conform to your needs. Here are some key points to keep in mind when you’re exploring Chicago neighborhoods.

Aesthetics of the Neighborhood

What is your first impression when you drive through a neighborhood? How does it look? Are the lawns well kept? Do the neighbors seem friendly? The most important thing to ask yourself is whether or not you can see yourself living there. When it comes to buying a home, in most cases, your “gut feeling” is going to be right.

Price of Homes in the Neighborhood

The prices of the homes being sold in the neighborhood are a great indicator of whether or not it is a good neighborhood. There are neighborhoods where every property is listed at or below the assessed tax value, or they may just be listed at significantly lower prices than the average for that general region of Chicago. If you notice this, it’s not a reason to immediately turn and walk away. It is cause for concern, however, so ask your real estate agent why that is happening and how that might affect your quality of life in the long run.

Easy Access to Outside Amenities

Having easy access to in-demand outside amenities is always a plus when it comes to your overall enjoyment of where you live (as well as property values). When you’re somewhat close to entertainment, shopping, and dining, it is not only easier for you, but it also shows that it is a developing, progressive area.

Safety Rating of the Area

Always check the safety ratings and sex offender registries when moving into a new area and make the best choice for your personal situation. Whether or not you consider it to be a deterrent, you want to be able to know the crime rate in a specific neighborhood or even the area. That’s especially true if you hope to someday resell the home. Not everyone stays in one place forever, after all, and the next person might be more concerned about crime rate than you are.

School Ratings

If you’re moving with children or planning on starting a family, then it is extremely important that you do your research about the schools in that area. Do they have a diverse curriculum, are they welcoming, do they have high ratings? Knowing more about the schools is actually one of the biggest reasons people either move to or away from an area.

Public Services

Surprisingly enough, the condition of street signs and other locally-maintained fixtures is a great way to assess the quality of a given neighborhood. In the summer, is there trash all along the curbs? In the winter, are the streets plowed soon after a snowfall?

Once you move into a neighborhood, you’re set, so time researching the quality of that area is time well spent. If you’d like to learn more about Chicago’s most in-demand neighborhoods, contact me today at 773.576.0053. I’d love to be a local resource for you!

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