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If you’re thinking about moving in the Chicago area, you have a wide range of options when it comes to neighborhoods. Some buyers are so focused on what they want in a house, that they overlook the importance of finding a neighborhood that is the right fit. Maybe neighborhood is lower on your priority list - but it’s still great to get some clarity around what you’d like. For other prospective buyers, a neighborhood might make or break a perfect home. So, what questions can buyers ask as they start their Chicago house search? Let’s dive in:
How do I prefer to get around the city?
Is driving most convenient for you? Do you enjoy riding your bike around your neighborhood? How often do you use public transportation? Where are the places you most frequently go? Thinking about how you get around is key. Choosing locations close to public transport can make it a breeze to get around the city. But if you’re regularly driving a few kids to school, a location with a driveway and maybe even a garage could be a better fit.
Are schools a priority?
If you have children in school or are planning to in the near future, proximity to a school might be something else to consider. Is there a specific school you’d like your kids to go to? Would you like them to be able to walk or take a bus? Or is a drive to school not a problem for you? Considering this aspect can help buyers zone in on the areas that make the most sense for them and their families.
What do I like to do in my free time?
While most of us are spending a lot more time in our homes than out enjoying the city at the moment, it likely won’t always be like this. If you’re someone who enjoys visiting the many amazing cafes, restaurants, and shops that Chicago has to offer, living closer to these active parts of the city could be a real plus. Rather than having to drive in and find parking, you could simply walk from your front door or hop on the subway for a few stops. If this is a big part of your life under normal circumstances, it’s something you may not want to overlook, even if you find a home that you really like. It’s worth honestly evaluating your lifestyle so you find a neighborhood that meets your needs as well.
What is my budget?
It’s important to consider your budget as you evaluate neighborhoods. Perhaps some neighborhoods are out of your budget at the moment while others are a better fit. No matter how important a neighborhood ranks on your priority list, it’s important not to allow it to push you over your true spending limit. Establish your absolute max budget for your dream home in your dream neighborhood and ensure you stick to that as a guide throughout the process.
What’s your favorite Chicago neighborhood? How important is neighborhood to you in your home-buying search? I’d love to hear what you think!