When you are in the middle of a move, it might seem as though you are the only one dealing with the stress of packing and moving. Take comfort – you are not.
According to new Census data, nearly 31 million people moved in the United States in 2019 – that’s 9.8% of all Americans moving every year. Taking the average American household size of 2.3 people, this means 15.3 million American households move each year; around 3 million make an interstate move every year.
When it came to population growth last year, Tampa Bay grew by more people than can fit into Tropicana Field, making the region one of the fastest growing in the nation, U.S. Census data shows. More than 51,000 people moved into the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area in 2018, earning the ninth spot on the Census’s Top 10 Metropolitan Areas in Numeric Growth: 2017 to 2018 list.
If you are planning a move to an unfamiliar city or state, it is important to develop a list of wants and needs. Determine what you are looking for – is it a big yard, a particular style of house, a gated community. Don’t forget to add amenities to your list such as proximity to sports facilities for you and your family (community swimming pools, parks, etc.), easy access to cultural and entertainment venues, and walkability.
REMAX/Metro realtor Estelia Mesimer says that a great neighborhood is what sells a home. Great neighborhoods hold their value and/or appreciate and make it easy to sell when you decide it’s time to move on.
Finding the right neighborhood takes detective work and putting in the time and effort has its rewards. So if
you are planning to move soon, here are a few tips to keep in mind when choosing a neighborhood.
If you have children or are planning to have a family in the future, buying a home in a neighborhood with good schools should be a priority. Even if you don’t have children to educate, you should be aware that homes located in a good school district typically hold onto their value better than those in less highly regarded districts.
A major consideration for most home buyers when it comes to choosing where to live is how they’ll get to the places they go regularly. In neighborhoods near or in a city, prime locations are typically close to public transit options. Look up an address or ZIP code on the Walk Score website or mobile app to obtain a “walkability” rating for neighborhoods or cities. Scores range from zero (“car dependent”) to 100 (“walker’s paradise”).
It is a good idea to visit a prospective neighborhood at various times of day and on both weekdays and weekends to get a feel for what it would be like to live there. Look at how the homes are maintained to see if they meet your standards.
Block watches and neighborhood meetings
These are signs of a closely knit community. If you find a neighborhood group, attend a meeting or two to meet people and ask questions. Subscribe to neighborhood newsletters.
Police and Fire Departments
Find the nearest fire and police stations and fire hydrants. Nearby public safety services add to a sense of neighborhood security. Also, a firehouse nearby might mean lower homeowners insurance premiums.
Bottom Line: No one community is right for every buyer. The way to choose the right neighborhood for your needs and your budget requires research and some soul-searching about your priorities. Are you ready?
10 Ways to Find Out about a Neighborhood without Being There: www.realtor.com
9 Ingredients of a Great Neighborhood, Ranked: www.realtor.com
How Safe Is Your Neighborhood? 5 Tools to Help You Find Out: www.safewise.com
St. Petersburg Communities
Greater Pinellas Point
Historic Old Northeast
Historic Roser Park
Isla del Sol
If you’re interested in any of these of communities or live in one and are thinking of selling, talk to The Mesimer Team.