Huntsville real estate consists of nine total neighborhoods. Each community has its own pros and cons that should be considered. Here are six tips to keep in mind when searching for homes for sale in Huntsville. Before relocating to Huntsville, AL, find your perfect neighborhood below.
1. School districts
Whether you already have kids or are planning to have kids in the future, choosing a neighborhood within a good school district is an important decision. They are also good indicators of how well particular neighborhood functions.
Most K–12 students in Huntsville attend Huntsville City Schools. The district operates 26 elementary schools (typically through grades five or six), 11 middle and junior high schools (through grade eight), six high schools, and nine magnet schools of all grades.
When analyzing school districts, consider the following questions:
What are the average class sizes? Are they large or small?
How well do students do on standardized tests?
How often do students graduate from high school and go on to college?
Are there a lot of extracurricular activities?
How far is the commute to and from school?
2. Tour the neighborhood
You’ll also want to tour the local shops and businesses. Do nearby stores offer convenient necessities for daily life? Check the inventory of these stores, as well as the condition of them. Map out the nearest grocery store and pharmacy. You can even strike up a conversation with one of the employees to learn more about the area.
Restaurants can help make or break a neighborhood. Having that perfect restaurant that serves as your go-to meal for your weekly or monthly family outings is important. It’s even better if that restaurant is located within your neighborhood. Do some research and dine at local food establishments while searching for homes for sale in Huntsville.
3. Look into future development
Take a trip to city hall or contact the local Chamber of Commerce to find out if a particular area has any development plans in the works. The city’s planners can inform you of current projects or any future plans that may arise down the line.
In addition to home prices and real estate developments, there are several steps you can take to predict whether the neighborhood in question is improving. Often, the negatives of a neighborhood can be easy to spot, whereas the positives can take research or preparedness (like this article). Here are some positive neighborhood characteristics to look for or look into.
Walkability and transit options
New construction or rebuilding projects
Popular businesses, especially hardware stores
Frequent and well-attended community events
4. Consider the commute
Even if you find the perfect neighborhood, sitting in traffic every day just to get home will be frustrating. Before committing to an area, make sure to check real-time traffic apps to get a feel for your commute to and from work. Be sure to note the peak traffic times around the neighborhood.
If you prefer walking or riding your bike, visit WalkScore.com to see an area’s walkability rating. The closer the score is to 100, the better it is for walking or public transportation.
5. Consider the cost of living
When considering a move, it’s important to know your budget. Different areas have different costs of living attached to them. These costs cover everything from groceries and food to gas and basic child care.
Head over to the Living Wage Calculator to see a breakdown of the cost of living for a particular area. Simply find the neighborhood or city and see a detailed list of the current costs for basic necessities in that area. It will also tell you what wage is considered a living wage or poverty wage in that area.
Speak to an experienced Huntsville Real Estate agent
*Header photo courtesy of Nicole Hartenbach Real Estate