Preparing Your New Home Search – Farmington valley real estate, Farmington valley realtor, top realtor Farmington valley

The very first step in the process is getting Pre-approved for a mortgage, unless you are paying with cash.   A loan pre-approval is based on your documented and verified information relating to employment, income, liabilities, and the cash you have available to close.  Ask your Santa Realty agent for some names of loan officers that can assist you if you need help.  This is a very important step before you start your home search so that you know exactly what you can afford in monthly payments so that you are looking for homes within your price range.

Understanding and evaluating neighborhoods –

  • Schools:  The quality of the school system is an important factor in determining potential upside of the property and resale in the future.  If you do not have kids, it is still worth checking the school district to determine if the school system is at or above average.  The buyer when you sell your home in the future may be highly concerned with the stability of the school and it’s strength in the state even if it is not an immediate concern of yours.
  • Crime:  Communities compile crime statistics by town, and sometimes by neighborhood.  If you are concerned about crime in your prospective search radius, click on the CT town sites (under the Useful Links section) and find your town.  If the information is not available there, you should be able to contact the town directly and they can guide you to the statistics you would like.
  • Amenities:  Amenities can make certain neighborhoods more attractive than others in the same town.  Views, parks, playgrounds, schools, churches, shopping,restaurants, parking, nicely manicured landscaping are all examples of amenities that add value to a neighborhood.  The same house next to the town dump could be worth significantly less than the exact home near shopping, on a quiet street, and near schools and playgrounds.
  • Life Cycle of a neighborhood:  The four phases neighborhoods go through in their life cycles are growth, stability/equilibrium, decline, and revitalization.

Growth-  Growth is the first stage a neighborhood goes through, when property values tend to rise as development activity begins and continues.  Buyers fuel this growth by continuing to purchase property in the area.  This demand equals acceptance of the area and the prices being charged for housing, and causes the area to grow into maturity.

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Stability/Equillibrium-  Stability or equilibrium is the second stage a neighborhood goes through when the area is built up to the point there is little, if any, vacant property.  Demand typically remains high, as buyers continue to prefer this neighborhood as it enters a mature stage.

Decline-  The third stage a neighborhood goes through, when property values begin to fall as demand falls.  Decline in a neighborhood is typically observable through decay or deterioration.  This, in turn, leads to the area becoming even less desirable and the cycle feeds on itself.  A less desirable area in which properties exhibit deferred maintenance means lower prices, and the lower prices equal lower income residents with less money to spend on repairs will be attracted to homes.  As value declines, the problem is compounded by conversion of some properties to rental units (where upkeep is often no as meticulous as by owner occupants), or to commercial uses.

Revitalization-  Revitalization is the stage a neighborhood goes through, when property values begin to rise again as demand increases, resulting in increased renovation and rehabilitation.  After a complete revitalization stage, the neighborhood can return to a stability/equilibrium stage and the cycle will begin again.Revitalization occurs when properties are again seen as attractive for their location,architectural features, or even price.