Whether you are buying a property for investment or staying there for the next few decades, the location is as important as the home itself. Before you commit to a neighbourhood do these 3 checks:
1) talk to people living there to get a sense of issues such as open parks, security, water supply, garbage collection, electricity disruption etc. A developed neighbourhood with high quality of living not only provides better living conditions but also provides long term capital appreciation.
I usually walk around the neighbourhood for few days talk to ladies / gents who live there and interact with local shopkeepers to understand the liveability factor of the neighbourhood. One get to hear the well kept secrets from the local residents. Don’t be shy when you approach complete strangers to seek such information. After all you are going to commit substantial money in the property.
Always remember – “Most people are willing to share what they know”.
2) observe cleanliness quotient of the society or layout – a well maintained neighbourhood means active & proud residents & neighbours. Always live in a neighbourhood where people are educated and socially responsible. This is important in the context of Indian cities where people of all classes virtually share the same locations, a downside of unplanned city growth.
I prefer to talk to people of different age groups to get the right information as they will share how the neighbourhood has grown / maintained / destroyed its standard over a period of time. You would be able to analyse the future of the location based on this historic trend.
Always remember – “Not all neighbourhoods in prime locations are liveable”.
3) figure out whether the neighbourhood has more self occupied homes or rented out places. This is critical from long term investment perspective. You can talk to property brokers, society members and analyse listing on property portals to figure out whether a huge inventory is out for rent or resale.
Always remember – “More home ownership, less renting, makes for a stable neighbourhood and better real estate values.”