Realtor® to Buyers and Sellers in Encino | Sherman Oaks | Studio City | Van Nuys | Tarzana

How to buy a home in the right San Fernando Valley neighborhood

Two great cliches to describe today’s post are “don’t try to reinvent the wheel” and “couldn’t have said it better my self.”  So, without further vamping, I present to you an article written by Kareem Tannous, covering some of the important neighborhood  criteria to look out for in your home search.

1. Good Neighbors

Obviously, this is a subjective quality that can’t be measured or inspected like a roof, or soil acidity. First impressions, however, can clue you in on the demeanor and energy of the people you’ll be living around. Try to schedule a few strolls through the neighborhood at different times of the day. If you happen upon anyone, introduce yourself and ask a little bit about the street. If you don’t, try to observe the general age, family status, and noise level of other homeowners. This can be a good indicator of whether or not it’s the neighborhood for you.

2. Crime Level

Bars on windows are an obvious indicator that robberies happen, but you need to look for subtler crime too. Especially if you have kids, look up the neighborhood on the National Sex Offender Public Website, Other niche websites exist that show bike theft statistic and related crimes, but the proximity of sex offenders often matters most to families—and to potential buyers, once you’re ready to move again.

3. Long-Term Residents

Neighborhoods with long-term homeowners tend to signify a neighborhood is pleasant enough to live in for decades. To learn this, you don’t need to do a door-to-door survey, asking how many years a person’s lived there: For Sale signs will often clue you in. Neighborhoods with a high home turnover rate will have a lot of houses on the market, so look for streets where only one or two homes are up for sale.

4. Quality Schools

The quality of a neighborhood’s school district often speaks to the quality of the neighborhood itself, and it factors into how well your home will gain value over the years. Look up demographics and statistics like a school’s faculty to student ratio on the National Center for Education Statistics website,, or If you have kids, this is especially important, and you may want to go the extra step and tour the local school before placing an offer.

5. Quality Businesses

Surrounding homes and their occupants are certainly important, but so are the types of businesses closest to the neighborhood. Tour the area to see what kinds of businesses thrive in the area, and determine whether or not you’d be fine living near them. This will change from person to person, so don’t just look for liquor stores or ramshackle service stations. Some homebuyers might love having a supermarket just a few blocks away, but the traffic and lights could be a deterrent to others.

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