Buying a Home? Check Out the Neighborhood's Geology and Geography

The Importance of Location Within a NeighborhoodWhen looking at a neighborhood, it is important to consider more than the look of the other houses and access to amenities. With these tips, buyers can take an analytical eye to an area’s layout and how it might affect the way you live in it.

Where Are the Roads?

Most people have probably been in a number of shopping or business complexes that looked like they had been designed by a small child. Getting into a lot is a hassle, and driving out requires making an unprotected turn on a six-lane road. Though most time in the neighborhood will be spent at home, consider the impact that getting into and out of the neighborhood will play in overall satisfaction. Invest the time to learn the major cross streets for the neighborhood, and try out all methods of entering and exiting. This will help to determine if the neighborhood will present significant hassles during rush hour, or if it will necessitate taking an alternate route due to construction.

How Is the Neighborhood Laid Out?

The geography of the neighborhood might affect you in more ways than just how you own the property. Living in a home at the top of a big hill or in the foothills of a mountain could afford you views that you have never had in a property, but they also come with some drawbacks. Cold winters may slow traffic to a crawl or even block your access. Similarly, living at the bottom of a canyon or in a ravine could be quiet but also limiting. Housing at the top or bottom of a bluff may have only a couple of roads cut through the hill for access, which could be a nightmare come rush hour. Find out about these conditions and determine all the methods of exit before making an offer.

How Wide Are the Streets?

Driving up to a home and seeing that cars line the road on both sides could be more than just visually distracting. If there is a lot of street parking and it is heavily used, it's important to see what it means to get into and out of the driveway. Older areas might have streets that were not cut particularly widely and are difficult to expand. If a two-way road is not wide enough for two cars to pass with all the cars on the side of the road, expect this to be a common problem.

Where Is the Property in the Neighborhood?

With a new sense for the layout of the neighborhood, buyers can start to think about the property in question and how it relates to the rest of the neighborhood. Figure out how far the house is from each entrance and exit. It may be the closest exit to the property is a horrible one to take at certain times of the day or on specific days of the week. Consider the boundaries of the property. A home located at the bottom of a bluff might have unique maintenance considerations to prevent erosion. Similarly, that charming creek running past the back of the property could be a serious hazard for children or a danger after a heavy rainfall.

As you think about the homes you want to buy, you should take a moment to consider how the property fits into the neighborhood. By investing time to look at the geology and geography of the area, you can eliminate homes that are likely to create significant maintenance burdens or complications coming to and from the house.

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