You bought your dream home, raised your family there, you thought it was a forever home. But now, you notice newer neighborhoods popping up with common areas and shared amenities, and you wonder if you should sell before your home loses its value and the neighborhood slides into obscurity.
Or, you’ve inherited a home in an older neighborhood and wonder if you should keep it or sell it. How do you know when a community is losing its appeal or is on the verge of trending upward?
Two questions to ask are: is it affordable? And is it attractive? As long as a neighborhood is accessible—taxes aren’t too high, market value is reasonable—then people will continue to move into homes there. Additionally, if it remains attractive—there are parks and shopping nearby, with good schools, and well-maintained roads and infrastructure—new families will want to live there.
More critical than affordability and attraction is livability. That is, can young families make community connections there? Do they see themselves raising a family there? If all the other occupants of homes in the neighborhood are over fifty, the livability for young families is low. As those homes transition from older occupants to younger ones, livability rises, and the area retains its stability.
Looking for at least a few of these signs of livability for young families will give you an idea if the neighborhood is emerging as a newest, hip area or if there is cause for concern. One of those signs is crime rate—if crime increases, livability decreases. Another sign is convenience—proximity to jobs and entertainment increases both the attractiveness and the livability of a community. Medical, dental, and other necessary services moving into an area indicate an upward trend, as does the appearance of retailers, restaurants, and coffee shops nearby. Public transportation becomes more important to younger occupants. Millennials often prefer walkable areas with easy access to a bus, tram, or train system.
Add to these signs a street of homes with architectural interest or historical significance and you can likely expect a renaissance among the fixer-upper crowd. The renovation and remodel trends tend to revitalize mature districts that attract younger buyers.
To better understand if your property is on the cusp of trending up, ask your local real estate professional. They’re aware of shifts in demographics and when an area is on the verge of being a hot new market.