It’s easy to fall in love with a house if it has all the features you’re looking for. However, it’s important not to ignore the qualities of the neighborhood the house is in as well.
The state of the surrounding neighborhood is important for many homeowners. You’ll use the local amenities, walk on the sidewalks, drive on the roads, and eventually even set the price of your home based partially on the price of those surrounding it.
In this article, we’re going to discuss some of the reasons you should pay attention to the neighborhood when shopping for homes, and what qualities to look for to find a place that has both high quality of life and resale value.
Neighborhood Inspection 101
There are a number of things you’ll want to learn about a neighborhood before you move in. Some of them you can observe with your own eye, some you can find online via public records, and others will require talking to the locals to see what their experience has been.
Things to observe
When you go to visit a home, set aside some time beforehand to drive around the neighborhood. Check out the roads, sidewalks, and the general state of the neighborhood. Boarded up houses and closed businesses aren’t always a sign of doom and gloom, but it can give you insight into the pricing of some homes and give you some negotiating power.
If you love the house and feel okay about the neighborhood swing by during rush hour, if possible. This will give you a sense of traffic and how long it will take you to get to work from your new home.
If you’re moving into a city, it’s also a good idea to check out the after-hours scene. If a peaceful evening at home is what you seek, it will be a good idea to know ahead of time if your street comes alive at night.
Things to research
It’s a good idea to get a feel for the local culture before buying a home to see if it fits with your lifestyle. Are businesses closed on Sundays? Are there community events and clubs that you ur your family would be interested in? You can find most information online through Facebook groups, library websites, and local newspapers.
If you’re concerned with crime, you can find local data online. Similarly, records are available for local schools, such as where the town’s test scores land compared to state and national averages.
Talk to the neighbors
The most practical way to learn about a neighborhood is to ask the people who live there. They’ll be able to tell you how it has changed over the years, which will give you a sense of where the neighborhood is headed. They can tell you whether it’s a neighborhood filled with young families or aging retirees, and will likely be able to let you know if there are any problems in the neighborhood.
Aside from the local culture, you should ask your potential new neighbors about the infrastructure. Do they have frequent power issues? Is there often noisy construction, or have there been potholes that haven’t been filled for years? You can learn a lot from the people who have lived in a neighborhood for multiple years.
The bathroom is so frequently brushed aside when it comes to decorating a new home. So often left to become the most outdated room in the house, it becomes a frustration to modernize. However, the bathroom is often a room used for relaxation whether to relax in a hot tub or to gain a moment’s silence from the children. If you’re ready to ditch the shell shaped sink, infamous bathroom blue tub, and god help you, matching blue toilet here are some ways to create a clean modern room you’ll love.
If you’re willing to put in time and effort you can remove tub surround yourself by removing the hardware than scoring along where the surround meets the wall. You’ll then want to pull the surround from the wall very carefully as to not damage the wall behind it, cutting the adhesive away as you go. Once torn down you’ll want to prep the walls with plastic sheeting and HardieBacker for tiling.
While a lot of work, this opens up more options for you to modernize your bathroom with elements like imitation marble or subway tiling and even install a sleek new tub. With so many options on the market now, you can have anything from a freestanding tub such as an acrylic clawfoot tub or drop in that leaves lots of deckspace for bath product and mood-setting candles.
Tiling the wall behind or surrounding your tub is a great way to create a chic statement wall without breaking the bank imitating floor to ceiling tiling. Use the same tiling for both floors and wall or add some depth by matching smaller floor tiles with a matching larger size for the wall. Painting the remaining walls a light color brightens up the room while maintaining an overall clean feel.
A large mirror over the sink reflects light and makes the room feel more expansive. If your bathroom already has a builder grade mirror you can give it a quick upgrade by framing it with molding or even some simple boards for a sleek look. If you have a medicine cabinet you don’t want to replace a coat of fresh paint and chic knob pull like a T-bar will bring the piece a whole new feel.
Updating the sink with new hardware is always a surefire way to update a room though be sure to match the finish it to the existing hardware for a cohesive look. A pedestal sink adds more visual space to a small bathroom while replacing the cabinet brings an entirely new look to the room. Undermount sinks add a crisp modern look while maintaining the extra storage availability that comes with a vanity.
Don’t let an outdated bathroom continue to plague your otherwise well-designed home. The effort it takes to rip out old amenities is well worth the enjoyment you’ll get out of their modern replacements. Get the most out of your renovation efforts by opting for styles that are least likely to fall out of fashion and instead remain a classic staple.
If you've been putting off organizing your closets for months -- if not years -- you're not alone! Since closets are not usually a "high visibility" area of the house, cleaning them often ends up being relegated to the bottom of people's priority lists.
It's easy to postpone tackling the project because you can simply close the door and forget about what a disaster area it's become!
There are, however, several sound reasons for bumping it up on your "to do" list.
- First of all, you'll probably find valuable things you thought were lost forever. Depending on how long it's been since you last cleaned out your closets, there's a good chance you'll find miscellaneous valuable items ranging from missing gloves and address books to lost photo albums and unopened gifts. There's no end to the possible treasures you could stumble upon in a closet that you haven't organized for a while. You may even find lost items you were considering replacing. In that case, you can save your money or spend it on something else!
- It's an opportunity to help others. All communities have charitable organizations that distribute warm clothing, shoes, essential kitchen supplies, school backpacks, and other useful items to underprivileged families in your area. By giving away things you no longer need and use, you can accomplish two objectives: clearing out the clutter in your home and helping needy families or organizations in the community.
- You'll enjoy a sense of accomplishment. On one hand, when you keep putting off a project that you know needs to get done, it creates an underlying feeling of frustration. However, once you get the task underway and completed, you'll feel like you're making progress with your goals and moving forward. (Not only that, but your closets will no longer be an eyesore that cause you to cringe every time you go to grab a jacket or hang up your clothes!)
- Completing one project helps create momentum for getting started on something else. As Sir Isaac Newton, the famous physicist, stated more than 300 years ago, "A body at rest will remain at rest, and a body in motion will remain in motion unless it is acted upon by an external force.” (Source: Live Science) That principle applies as much to human behavior as it does to inanimate objects. Once you force yourself to get started on a project -- whether it involves organization, cleaning, repair, or home improvement -- you'll discover new-found energy and motivation for other tasks.
While it may seem as if cleaning your closets is a monumental task that makes you feel physically and mentally drained just thinking about it, the hardest part is getting started -- taking those first few steps. By picking one closet to organize and setting aside just an hour or two to do it (and creating a semblance of order), you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish in just one session!