How to Find an Affordable Neighborhood

o-most-expensive-neighborhoods-facebook

 

Trulia Maps offers a wealth of information on low-cost areas across the country. Find out all you need to know.

There’s more to consider when buying a house than the house itself. The neighborhood can be equally, if not more, important. You might already have must-haves in mind for the type of property you’ll buy — at least two bathrooms to stay sane, for example. Now you need to focus on finding the best neighborhood that fits your budget. Read on for some tips, techniques, and practices to help you find affordable neighborhoods.Top of Form

 

Bottom of Form

 

1. Use the Affordability layer in Trulia Maps

The most important factor when looking for an affordable home is price. No surprise there. But the listing price doesn’t tell you the full story. The seller could have simply picked a number because that’s what they’d like to get, a price that might have nothing to do with reality.  Use the Affordability layer in Trulia Maps to compare listing prices with recent sales prices. Just scroll over your neighborhood of interest to see the median listing price, change your filter, and then scroll over the same area to see the median sales price. There may be a huge price difference between the two, which besides a too-optimistic seller could also reflect a softening market. A once-unaffordable neighborhood, based on listing prices alone, might now be in reach once you see what homes are actually selling for.  Also look at the sales price per square foot, a real eye-opener. You can see exactly how much location affects a home’s price. If using a price-per-square-foot comparison, the homebuyer must be sure to compare similar-sized properties or allow for the different results based upon the differences in size.

 

2. Explore other neighborhoods

If you already have a neighborhood in mind, take some time to look at the bordering neighborhoods as well. You might find more affordable options that have the same benefits. As home prices increase within desirable areas, generally speaking, locations on the periphery become in demand.  Pick your neighborhood of interest and note the listing and sales prices. Then pick a bordering neighborhood that costs less to buy into. Compare amenities in Trulia Maps, and you can see where the restaurants, grocery stores, nightclubs, cafes, stores, arts and entertainment areas, spas, and active-life spaces are located.  Don’t rule out up-and-coming neighborhoods. Yes, you’re taking a risk here. “Up-and-coming,” as a description, might turn out to be a tad too hopeful if the neighborhood is really going nowhere. How do you minimize the risk? Look for warning signs. Distressed areas generally are identified by low sales volumes, elevated value decreases, and poor access to amenities.

 

3. Look for fixer-uppers

If your heart is set on a neighborhood that lets you bike to work and raise urban chickens, you might not be able to get a dreamy, move-in-ready abode with all new upgrades. Instead, target fixer-uppers, or remodels, or teardowns. You might wish to consider a house with “good bones,” as they say, meaning there’s potential in there somewhere. If the house doesn’t even have that, a teardown might be in order. You can often find fixer-uppers in the foreclosure arena. But beware. Purchasing an REO/short sale or auction property when the asset is sold ‘as is’ necessitates a network of professionals to understand the condition and to project rehab costs.  Contractors, electricians, plumbers, even structural engineers may be required in order to adequately analyze a property.  You’ll also need to devote some time, or sweat equity, to save money when you buy a fixer-upper. It is important to have a sense of how much work would be needed to get the house in the shape you would want it to be. You would need to get estimates for the work — the final cost will probably be higher than the estimates — and try to determine how long it will take to get permits approved and contractors in the door … [and] it will probably take longer than everyone tells you. But when you are pulling your hair out because you are cooking dinner in a half-finished kitchen, remember all of the money that you saved when you bought.

4. Factor in the cost of your commute

Trulia Maps has you covered when it comes to figuring out commute time. Once you determine yours, figure your expenses. Although the house might be cheaper farther out, the cost in gas and car maintenance will be higher. Living an hour from work could potentially cost you a bundle in gas and car maintenance costs — no wonder commute times are a top factor for those looking to move.  Determine if the lower-cost home purchase in the suburbs offsets the time spent commuting and the commuting costs involved outweigh the higher-priced properties more proximate to employment centers and urban areas.

 

5. Consider a house that’s not a house

When is a house not a house? When it’s a condo. If you just cannot afford a single-family house in the neighborhood of your choice, look at other options. Condos and townhouses are often less expensive than single-family homes. But wait, there’s more. The advantage of a condo or townhouse is the reduction in exterior maintenance, which is typically taken care of by the property management.

 

Now that you have a keen sense on how to search for an affordable neighborhood. Let’s find that property! Call me today ~

 

Lynn Kronk ~ Realtor

 

Changing schools AND relocating?

Changing schools and moving can be stressful events, even if the entire family is excited about the move. The purpose of this post is to give you a checklist of the things you may need to think about as you orchestrate your move and what you may need to do when changing schools.

S4-3 (12).plt *

General tips

  • Research school zones before you look at houses or rental apartments so that you are making an informed decision regarding where your family will live.
  • The best time to move is at the beginning of summer. That gives the children more time to get used to their new home and area and hopefully meet new friends before the first day of school.
  • Follow up with school counselors about a month after school starts to see how the children are adapting to their new schools.
  • Get involved with the new school. Join the PTA; help support an extracurricular activity.

As soon as you decide to move research potential new schools.

  • Location……The difference between a top rated school and a school that lags behind its peers could be as simple as living on one side of the school boundary.
  • Start early – Even public schools may have waiting lists if they are charter or target schools.
  • Found out if there are any extra-curricular activities that require early enrollment or may involve practice over the summer before the school year starts.
  • Enroll your children in their new schools. Make sure you’ve filled out all the required paperwork and have all the necessary doctors’ forms, immunization records, etc. so that the kids can start on day one. Even homeschooling families will need to file paperwork.
  • Get a copy of your children’s current coursework so that the new school can get a better idea of where to place the child in terms of classes or levels.
  • Find day care services or extended day services as soon as possible. Most of these services will have waiting lists, enrollment applications, and down payments necessary to hold spots.

Two months before your move

  • Keep immunization records, medical forms, and birth certificates separate from other papers that you plan to pack for the move. You’ll need these papers to get the children enrolled in their new school. Keep them with your important personal papers rather than risk losing them or misplacing them in the move.
  • Verify that your kids’ immunization records are up to date. It might be easier to make appointments with their current doctors than to find new ones after the move.

One month before your move

  • Schedule a get together so that your children and you can say good bye to your friends. Get mailing addresses, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers.
  • Get maps of the new place where you’re moving to. Show the children the relationship between their new house and school. Highlight any other major landmarks to help the kids get a good feeling for their new place.
  • Get a school supply list from the new school so that you will have those supplies ready rather than having to scramble to get the kids ready for school after you arrive at your new destination.
  • Get a copy of their school guidelines. Your children may be used to different regulations on makeup, acceptable clothes, locker use, PE, etc. By learning as much as you can about their new school, it will really help the children to feel comfortable in their new school. Look into whether the kids will need uniforms (many public schools require uniforms now, too).

Arrive at your new place

  • Drive the kids to their new school before school starts.
  • Consider introducing yourself to the neighbors.
  • Talk to the new school counselors to make sure they know that your kids are experiencing not just a new school but a major house move as well.
  • Look into extracurricular activities (associated with and without the school) to give the kids opportunities to meet new friends.

If you are relocating to Tennessee I would be happy to show you around, introduce you to the community, assist with property searching and educate you on our fantastic school system.

Tennessee’s Education Mission:

Districts and schools in Tennessee will exemplify excellence and equity such that all students are equipped with the knowledge and skills to successfully embark upon their chosen path in life.   https://www.tn.gov/education/

 

Tennessee’s Community Realtor,

Lynn Kronk

 

What to do July 4th in Nashville!

Independence Day is only a week away so we thought we should provide a list of things to do on July 4th in Nashville TN! While most Americans look forward to escaping the daily grind, Nashvillians typically want to stay put and enjoy local favorites for July 4th in Nashville. If you already have plans to celebrate elsewhere, you can still view Let Freedom Sing via live-stream.

Things to Do on July 4th in Nashville TN

ANNUAL EVENTS

How will you celebrate July 4th in Nashville?

Saturday, July 4, 2014

Music City Hot Chicken Festival

The annual Music City Hot Chicken Festival celebrates an original Nashville culinary tradition! The event begins at 11:00 am with a parade of fire trucks and free Hot Chicken samples to the first 500 people in line. Visitors can enjoy Hot Chicken from Nashville’s best Hot Chicken establishments, cold beer from Yazoo and other delicious edibles from local vendors.

Live music from local bands keeps the “Nashville” vibe going all day long and visitors can look on while six teams try their hand at cooking up their version of Hot Chicken in the Amateur Cooking Competition.

The event ends at 3:00 pm, when visitors can make their way downtown for the annual fireworks display.

Let Freedom Sing

Located in Downtown Nashville, Let Freedom Sing has been named one of the Best Fourth of July Fireworks in the USA. This year the big event just got bigger, as AT&T announced they will live-stream the festivities! The music lineup will include Martina McBride, Mikky Ekko, and the Nashville Symphony leading up to the incredible fireworks display. It’s one of the biggest parties Nashville throws all year and it’s all free!

Franklin on the Fourth

Franklin on the Fourth will be held on the Square in Downtown Franklin beginning at 10:00 am. The annual celebration, coordinated by the Franklin Lions Club, TN Events, and the City of Franklin, will include jazz music, crafts, food, antique cars and a kids’ zone. Franklin on the Fourth ends at 8:00 pm to give attendees time to get to the Fireworks Display at the Park at Harlinsdale Farm. The fireworks display, put on by the City of Franklin, will begin at approximately 9:00 pm.

Independence Day Celebration at Brentwood’s Crockett Park

Each year, the City of Brentwood sponsors a July 4th Celebration at the Eddy Arnold Amphitheater in Crockett Park. From 7:00 pm to 10:30 pm, entertainment will be provided by The Kadillacs. Admission is free to the community and the fireworks begin at 9:00 pm.

Good News for Nashville – 2015

Nashville has been in the news for its varied benefits of living throughout this month, but the job market really shines! Take a look at these highlights from this month’s top news stories reported for Nashville:

10 Most Engaged Cities in 2015Quantum Workplace
Nashville ranks No. 1 on Quantum Workplace’s list of U.S. cities with the most engaged employees. For the survey, researchers evaluated key factors affecting employee engagement, including perceptions of teamwork, manager effectiveness, trust in senior leaders, trust in coworkers, retention, alignment with goals, feeling valued, individual contribution, job satisfaction and benefits. Nashville has been on the list three years in a row.

Best Places for Jobs this SummerForbes.com
Forbes researchers have ranked Nashville No. 2 in their list of best cities for jobs this summer. The ranking is based on a quarterly survey conducted by employment services firm ManpowerGroup.

Best Job Markets for WomenHeadlightData.com
Headlight Data has named Nashville one of the top U.S. job markets for women in a newly released study. The ranking is based on the unemployment rates for women in eight of the nation’s 52 large metro areas.