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Process of choosing a community

May 20, 2011
By MARIO D'ARTAGNAN, Real Estate in Perspective

How exactly does a potential buyer choose where he or she wants to live? Two very important aspects of a purchasing decision are safety and quietness. Equally important are a property's amenities, proximity to dining and shopping and access to major transportation arteries and airports.

We live in a city that is abundant in waterways, yet these homes may not be suitable for some buyers. Water is a conductor of sound, and I assure you that if your neighbors across the canal are entertaining on their lanai, you can virtually hear every word they say. If buyers are not interested in boating, there are alternative properties such as along a golf course, homes situated in rural areas or off-water locations.

With respect to safety, providing crime statistics is risky business for real estate agents. Moreover, discussing school systems and districts is equally risky and therefore, buyers should be referred to specific law enforcement agencies and school administrators to obtain the respective statistics.

Another important consideration is the presence of sexual offenders or predators. A buyer may visit the Lee County Sheriff website at: www.floridaoffenderalert.com to receive email alerts about specific locations of sexual offenders.

Gated communities are another option for buyers. However, there are some caveats to consider. The Home Owner Association and Condominium Asso-ciation fees could be very expensive depending on the community.

It is also important to know how frequently maintenance is performed. For example, are the landscapers continuously mowing lawns and fairways, or trimming trees? Will you be incessantly inconvenienced by the sound of leaf blowers, those God forsaken tools that blow trimmings from one end of the street to the other?

I have lived in communities where maintenance people work six days a week. So, if you are looking for total quietness and enjoyment, this is an issue that a buyer should be asking questions about.

Other considerations are play and recreational areas, including pools, tennis courts and friendly "trustworthy" neighbors who respect their own privacy as well as the privacy of others. Other considerations that are extremely important to people when choosing a neighborhood may have to do with living close to family. Real estate decisions are quite often made so that generations of family members - even given the extraordinarily fast-moving lifestyles of young families - may live in proximity to each other. Other considerations may be selecting a neighborhood that is either abundant with or deplete of young children.

Choosing the right neighborhood can be tricky, and that is why it is important to hire a real estate professional who has lived in the community for several years. This is the person that can provide first-hand knowledge and experience, and lead you in the right direction.

Mario D'Artagnan is a broker associate at Paradise Realty, specializing in domestic and European clientele. Mario is a former investigator for the Florida Real Estate Commission. He is also a former real estate instructor. Mr. D'Artagnan is a published author and has been a keynote speaker on the subject of agency law. Mario is also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. For questions or comments contact Mr. D'Artagnan at: mariodartagnan@yahoo.com or call 239-565-4445 or visit www.mariodartagnan.com.

 
 
 

 

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