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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Pay attention to good schools when home shopping, even if you don't have kids.

Location, location, location. You've heard this time and time again, and it's never been truer than in real estate. The most important aspect of a home's value is the neighborhood it's in. What good is a beautiful, 2,500-square-foot restored Victorian if it's in a declining part of town?
Use your "Home Wish List" to guide you. Which neighborhoods fit the criteria you set?
Learn about 12 different kinds of neighborhoods and get tips on how to choose a neighborhood.
As you look at neighborhoods, ask yourself these questions:
What's your job commute going to be like? Is the traffic heavy or light when you'll be on the road?
How's the school district? Even if you don't have kids, the quality of the school district affects your home's value, so it pays to find out.
How much crime is there?
How accessible are shopping centers, libraries, churches and other necessary destinations?
Do you prefer urban living or country living?
If you're priced outside of the neighborhood you want to be in, look for the area's fixer-uppers. These houses will need work, but at least you'll have built-in property value. You can also find bargains if you're willing to go outside popular neighborhoods and scout up-and-coming ones.

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