monopoluChoosing which neighborhood to live in has to be one of the most important decisions for a new home buyer.  It’s the one item on your list that can’t be changed after you sign on the dotted line.  There is more to a neighborhood than living on a cul-de-sac or having beautiful city or water views.  Agents highly recommend that buyer’s drive through the potential area multiple times during the day and evening, as well as weekends.  Evening traffic may come to a standstill in front of your home or the local fire department may travel down your street multiple times during the day.  If it’s not something that you’re comfortable with then you may need to continue with the home search.

There are other external factors that could affect your property value either positively or negatively.  However, these may not take place in the foreseeable future.

Foreclosures in the neighborhood will definitely drive down the average price of the property value by as much as 1% according to studies.  So if you are within 250 feet of a foreclosed property and you decide to sell shortly after a foreclosure your selling price may be affected.

Public transportation expansion may occur.  Public transit is a must have for some home owners.  Being within walking distance to public transportation is a necessity for them to get to work.  According to the American Public Transportation Association “residential property values for areas near public transit facilities are higher than for residential areas far away from such facilities.”

Future developments such as commercial and governmental developments are additional factors that can change your property value for better or worse.  Government plans for hospitals, schools, and traffic patterns will have as much influence on land values as commercial amenities such as cell phone towers.  Additional commercial amenities such as coffee shops, restaurants, movie theaters and grocery stores such as Whole Foods could increase property values on average up to 20% according to studies.

So drive through your neighborhood, check in with the town hall and Google to research the area you want to live in.  Knowledge is power.


Jennifer ScaliJenn Scali is an agent with RE/MAX Legacy and she works closely with buyers to make sure they get their homework done. You can reach her at (617) 905-7211 or on her website at

Category: Home Buying

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