How To Love Where You Live
When I am meeting with potential home sellers, I am always struck by how many homeowners tell me how much they love where they live and their neighborhood. Sometimes the neighborhood is vibrant with shops and restaurants, but just as often it is a quiet neighborhood which appear to not have many “amenities.” Sellers point out the solitude or greenery or the commute to work. Mostly however, they talk about their neighbors. People move for many reasons; sometimes there is change in the family – adding new members or sadly, a loss of a member, or it is economics – the cost is too much or they are relocating for a job. Most often, sellers say they will miss their neighbors because that is really what builds the community.
I often become concerned when I hear buyers say they only want to live in a certain neighborhood or an area that is particularly “hot” or popular. Don’t get me wrong, I love these neighborhoods and they are the perfect choice for many of our clients.
However, I become concerned when they are maxing out their budget to be there and often have to compete with other buyers by dropping contingencies and escalating over their comfort level.
Doing so often means they give up asking for home inspection repairs, pulling contingencies such as financing and appraisal and escalating above the list price. The reasons to go to the max are compelling – being able to give up a car or pare down to one, everything is easily accessible, and shops and restaurants in walking distance abound. However, they often lose sight of what makes a neighborhood great – the people who live in it.
I try to counsel buyers that perhaps they should step outside of the places where they are competing and explore neighborhoods that might not seem as hip but that they might enjoy just as much.
I remember when I lived in Del Ray back before the explosion of popularity there. I was heartbroken leaving the walkability to shops and restaurants and moving to the area where I live now in Seminary Ridge. I just didn’t think I would like it. However within days, yes days, I realized all the great things about my new home – namely, space! The utilities were underground so when I looked out my windows, I just saw sky and trees, not utility lines. I found that the neighborhood was wonderfully walkable and the kids could ride their bikes easily without worrying too much traffic. And finally, I learned I had wonderful neighbors. Together, we created a community of friends and activities.
When sellers say they need to move but don’t know if they can find a community they love as much as their current one, or when buyers say they can only be in one neighborhood that is becoming more than they can afford, I gently suggest all the wonderful pockets of places that my sellers have shared with me over the years. They are everywhere because great people are everywhere. You will love anywhere you live if you just reach out and be the kind of great neighbor you would want to have.
Want to talk through a move? Please reach out. Our goal is to help you love where you live!
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