Seller Tips: Different Types of Neighborhoods and Spotting Red Flags

by | Dec 7, 2018

As a home seller or real estate agent, you want to find the lowest cost neighborhood that yields the biggest reward. If you’re just getting started in a new area or if this is your first time selling a house, there’s a lot to learn about neighborhoods themselves. A neighborhood can be anything from the urban center of a city to the suburbs to everywhere in between.

Knowing how to spot the different types of neighborhoods and communities is the first step to making a smart sell. Also, the more you learn about neighborhoods, the easier it will become to spot any potential red flags that might slow down the selling process. 


Different Types of Neighborhoods

There are 12 different types of neighborhoods, but you probably won’t encounter all of them in your real estate career. Depending on your geographical area, not all of the most common types will be found in your community. 

Understanding these neighborhoods can help you decide not only who your ideal buyer is, but also what you need to look out for. So what are the most common types of neighborhoods and how do they translate into the world of home buying? Let’s break it down. 

  • Downtown – These are neighborhoods in the heart of a metro area. Homes here are more likely to be apartments and aging single-family homes. While it might have more exciting living options, downtown comes with parking challenges and increased crime. 
  • Urban Pioneer – You’ve probably heard this also called an up-and-coming neighborhood. You’ll find these near downtowns and suburbs. Urban pioneers will likely consist of fixer-upper homes and diverse residents of all backgrounds. 
  • New Urban – Similar to urban pioneer communities, these neighborhoods are near a business hub, though not the city’s main downtown. You’ll find a lot of new developments, homes, and apartments with middle-income residents. 
  • Cul-de-Sacs – This is essentially another term for suburbs and other new areas. They’re not close to city centers, but the homes are larger and are newly built. 

Depending on where you live, you might also have rural, retirement, and destination neighborhoods, but these are more niche. In general, you’ll encounter these neighborhoods above in your own community. There is no perfect neighborhood, but you can see how each type appeals to a different buyer and has unique draws. 


Neighborhood Red Flags

Now that you understand the differences between the most common types of neighborhoods, it’s time to point out some red flags. As a real estate agent or home seller, you need to be a sleuth on the lookout for any signs that things aren’t going well in this neighborhood. You don’t want to discover too late that the housing market is at a complete standstill with your home. If you see any of these below, beware.

  • Vacant Homes – If there are too many properties in the neighborhood that look vacant or for sale, that’s a worrying sign. If the neighborhood is healthy, there wouldn’t be many properties on the market. 
  • Bad Conditions – While some up-and-coming communities are on the mend, not all conditions can be erased by a fresh coat of paint. If there are a lot of nearby homes in disrepair without any clear effort to improve, this is a sign the neighborhood might be in a downward spiral. 
  • Local Businesses – You want there to be thriving local businesses nearby. If you can’t find a grocery store or shopping center anywhere in the nearby radius, this might not be a very comfortable place to live. On the same wavelength, you don’t want too many businesses that the area becomes excessively congested. 
  • Crime – Finally, research the areas crime rate. Use a platform like NeighborhoodScout or AreaVibes to learn more about the local crime situation and whether it’s a safe place to live. 

These are red flags you need to look out for if you’re selling a home. To have the most profit potential, you want to keep these red flags as far away from your property as possible. When you find the perfect neighborhood, you can focus on finding the best-fit buyer for your chosen community. 

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