Every housing consumer knows that good/great schools and good/great neighbors make good/great neighborhoods. But great and bad neighborhoods go beyond school quality and neighborliness.

Here are some of the amenities that can make or break neighborhoods, according to realtor.com:

  1. Parks and green spaces near the chosen house are huge pluses. As important as those parks and green spaces are, make sure to make multiple visits to these amenities at different times of the day to see if people are actually using these areas. If they’re not being used, agents ought to see red flags appear as something is not “right” in the neighborhood’s scheme of things.
  2. Dog parks are nearly as important as people’s/children’s parks. Make sure the park is a dog park, first of all, and not just a patch of grass and make sure the dog park is adequately fenced, has water stations and has waste bag containers.
  3. A neighborhood must-have is a grocery store. But, just like houses, grocery stores vary in quality so go inside the or all of the grocery stores in the neighborhood.
  4. Local coffee shops, cafes and restaurants (not just pizza places) are great to have in a neighborhood, Affordability, free Wi-Fi and a welcoming atmosphere all help create and enhance community building via a coffee shop, café, etc.
  5. Look for mature trees, shade and nature in older neighborhoods; in younger and/or new developments, look for young trees that will become shade and “nature.”
  6. When was the last time you and/or your client visited a library? Look for a library in the neighborhood of the chosen house. In addition to books, libraries have movies, children’s programs, lecture/music programs, book clubs, etc.
  7. A community pool is a great draw but again, not all community pools are created equal. Visit the pool to see if it’s actually being used and whether or not it has swimming/diving lessons for children and adults, swimming meets, designated lap swimming/water aerobics/pool parties, etc. Also note the cleanliness and maintenance of the pool, locker rooms and showers.
  8. Coffee shops like Starbucks, Dunkin Doughnuts and/or the Waffle House/International House of Pancakes all tell you volumes about the neighborhood. com suggests that if your client is buying a house near and “fancier” coffee shop such as a Starbucks, the more high-end the neighborhood with better property values. Dunkin doughnuts or the Wafflehouse tend to be in more affordable neighborhoods.
  9. Farmer’s markets make it easy for your clients to mingle with their new neighbors while buying local produce. Farmer’s markets also foster a great sense of community.

Here are some of the amenities that can break a neighborhood, according to realtor.com:

  1. A shooting range
  2. A power plant
  3. A high concentration of renters
  4. A strip club
  5. A poorly rated school

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