Home inspection findings by Frank Schulte-Ladbeck, Professional Real Estate Inspector TREC# 9073

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Explore a Neighborhood Before You Buy a Home

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To make a house a home, you should consider the community as a factor

What do you look at when buying a home? Most of us inspect different houses, and we may obtain some community facts. For us parents, school information is at the top of the list. However, to make a house a real home, would you consider other aspects of a neighborhood, such as the park? If home buyers will be looking for value, this means considering more than the value of the home and the  services provided, when purchasing a house. Home buyers may want to examine the community as closely as the home that they are purchasing.
    This past weekend I was taking my family out, when my teenage son announced that he would be spending the remainder of the day with friends. We were at the farmer’s market at Rice University, and he wanted me to take home to Highway 6 and Westheimer. It was lunch time, and the girls wanted to be at a park. I drove home to his destination, and then told my wife of a park nearby in the Energy Corridor area. Across from the park was a new shopping center with one of these tea houses that sell teas, smoothies, and sandwiches (the place was called Smoothie Queen, and it was pretty good for a lunch). We then headed over to Ray Miller Park, which is on Eldridge Parkway close to Briar Forest. Although a windy day, we did have a nice picnic.
    Looking around the park, and spending a good four hours there, gave me a view of the neighborhood in the area. I have had quite a few home inspections in the 77077 area, so I knew the homes, but I had not stopped to think about the community in the neighborhood. In one corner of the park, we had a group of Indians playing cricket. There were two playground areas for the children. A path for those who wished to walk or run. There were some berms as well, from which the children tumbled down. This park was being used. Parents chatted while the kids played. Families were having picnics, and groups gathered for out door fun. I would not say that this park offers everything that I want in a park, like a little natural area, but the community which congregated there caused me to think about the neighborhoods.
   I love my home, and I get along with most of my neighbors. Since many people have moved in recent years, I have felt a change in community interaction. The neighborhood park is not much used by us. There is no community gathering place that really draws everyone. I think that if I was planning to move, I would add the idea of community as one of my factors, and I would study the neighborhood for what I would consider as adding value. Stopping by the neighborhood park would be a first step. I might also consider the layout of the neighborhood with its traffic patterns. Moving on, I would consider the quality of the care that homeowners give to their homes. Then I may look at some facts and figures about the schools or other data.
    In the end, a community does not exists unless you want it to be there. If I do not go out to meet my neighbors, then I will never have someone to turn to when in need. How do you determine value? Does your home, or perspective home, fit that model?

« « Do You Have a Choice in which Title Insurance to Use?| Does an Area Create Value? » »

© Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Home Inspector Houston, Texas
Frank Theodor Schulte-Ladbeck
home inspector, TREC# 9073
Houston , Texas , 77063 United States

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