When you’re looking for a house, you likely have a list of criteria for your must-haves and nice-to-haves. Three bedrooms and at least two full baths, for example. Master bedroom on the first floor. Granite countertops in the kitchen and a fireplace in the den. While those are important criteria, it’s easy to get caught up in deciding what you’d like inside your home and leave out an equally important consideration for outside your home: the neighborhood. The community you belong to plays an important part in your quality of life. So be sure to keep these considerations in mind:

How’s the commute? Most of us travel to work five days a week, for about 50 weeks a year. That’s a lot of trips from home to office, so think about the costs and convenience of your commute when searching for a home. But distance doesn’t necessarily indicate the time it will take. Consider impediments such as rush-hour traffic, school zones and ongoing construction when calculating your commute.

What about the schools? If you have school-age children or plan to start a family, pay attention to the school district that the home is in. I can tell you which areas of town belong to which districts. Then you can do some research to decide which schools work best for your kids. Even buyers without kids will want to consider school districts in their search, as property tax rates will differ among districts, and a home in a well-regarded district means better resale value.

Is it safe? Plenty of websites offer crime data for neighborhoods, but don’t limit your research to online. Talk to the people who know the area: current residents and the police department. They can help you interpret the data and offer their own insights.

Where’s the grocery store? A house in the newest subdivision may contain all the must-haves on your list, but where will you buy groceries, shop for clothes and go out to eat? Are you OK with driving 20 minutes to the nearest gas station in exchange for a huge new house, or would you rather walk down the street to get what you need? It just depends on what’s important to you.

How does it feel? You’re spending a lot of money to purchase a place where you’ll be spending a lot of time. Shouldn’t you feel good about where it’s located? Walk around the immediate neighborhood and talk to residents. Visit the area at different times and on different days to see what it’s like.

And my best advice: Work with a San Antonio Realtor – like me! I’ll help you find the areas that best fit your needs inside and outside your home.

Let’s get started!

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I have the listing for 339 East Sunset Dr. in the Sunset Villas complex near Broadway (featured in the photo above). Drive through the private gate at Sunset Villas and you’ll feel as though you’ve entered an exclusive Mediterranean enclave. Neatly situated around a landscaped courtyard, these 15 Davis Custom Homes are rarely available.

No. 339 features an open floor plan, top-of-the-line appliances and beautiful hardwood floors. Master with en suite bath and large walk-in closet and second bedroom/bath are on the first floor. Guest suite with bath is upstairs. Ample storage. Small, easy to maintain yard and deck. Looks, feels and smells brand new. Well-managed HOA. Ideally located in the Alamo Heights Independent School District. In walking distance to shops and restaurants. Convenient access to The Quarry and I-410 Loop. I’d love to show it to you.

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