Leigh Brown & Associates

Know Your Neighborhood

Know Thy Neighborhood

So you found the perfect property! It has all of the things that were on your ‘need-to-have-it’ list, and the price is on budget.  The entire family loves it! You feel the weight of the world leave your shoulders, and you tell yourself that you have finally done it.  Ah, what a rush!

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Slow your roll.  Did you check out the neighborhood? Do you have any information on the other properties? Do you know what the recent patterns of property taxes suggest? If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, you need to slow down!

The answers to these questions don’t necessarily have to be deal-breakers for you.  However, these and many other questions should be figured out as your search for your next property.  After all, this is an investment, and you need to be wise. You make money when you BUY, not when you SELL.

Know the Demographics

Demographics are one of the most important aspects to the geography of any area.  Some of the well-tracked demographics that are easily accessible in North and South Carolina are:

  • Median Income
  • Household Size
  • Median Age
  • Crime Rate
  • Literacy Rate

While these statistics aren’t grounds to change your overall reasoning for liking a property, they are important facts that must be considered before making a purchase.  Each demographic tells a story, and you are the only one who can determine if you’ll fit into that story or not.

Analyze Property Tax Trends

Individuals looking to purchase a property in a new area will undoubtedly check the property tax rates for the county.  This can have a significant impact on a budget and should be taken into consideration when making a property investment.

What most will fail to do is check the history of the tax rate for the property.  Is there a history of a steadily increasing tax rate or valuation? Has there been a steep rise in the previous years? What factors have led to changes in the property tax rate for the area? These answers can typically be discovered with a quick Google search, as well as through your Realtor.  No matter how you go about finding the answers, this information is vital as it will give you an idea of what increases you could be facing in the coming years.

Know the Selling Prices of Homes in the Area

Checking out the recent list prices and selling prices of properties in the area will accomplish two major things in your search.  

By dissecting the asking prices of homes in the area compared to what they actually sold for, you will gain an understanding of the market for the area.  If it is a seller’s market, you can expect to pay the asking price, or even a bit more. If the market is more favorable to the buyer, you and your Realtor may be able to successfully bid under asking price.  There are always variables in this formula, but the concept holds true in most areas of Charlotte.

Secondly, you can determine the minimum price that you can expect to sell your property for if the market stays relatively steady.  Think of this as a glimpse into the future of your investment. If you expect that your property is worth $400,000, but similar properties in the area are only selling for $350,000, then you may need to make some adjustments to your offer, or your outlook.

Selling prices of properties in the area can be a ‘cheat sheet’ of sorts for your investment.  There are many subtle clues that they provide about a neighborhood, and will help you make a solid decision on whether you are making a wise investment.


This simple bit of information is generally overlooked by many in their search for a property.  The bottom line is that education isn’t equal across the board. Each area will be in specific school boundary lines, and each school offers unique aspects to the education that it provides.

For those with school-age children, the benefit here is obvious.  Those who aren’t directly affected, however, should still take the schools into consideration.  When you sell your property in the future, you will find that school rankings do affect property value.

When checking out properties for purchase, it is easy to become blinded by the property itself and ignore some key aspects of the area around it.  Don’t worry, we have you covered! We have all of the information that you seek readily available. Our team of trusted professionals can answer all of your questions in regards to your Charlotte area neighborhood.  We know how to find it, and analyze it! We would love to answer any questions you may have. Give us a call or a message today!



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