What to Look for in a Neighborhood

By: Genalin T. Todcor


Home Guaranty Corporation

What is often considered when choosing to buy a house is the right price given the design, size, structure and aesthetics found within. What is neglected is the quality of what is outside - the neighborhood. Remember, buying a house is a long-term deal and you will be stuck with it for a long time. When you don’t like your neighborhood, it is difficult to just pack your bags and leave. Unlike the inside of your home, the outside of your house is not so easily transformed into an environment you want. Here are some questions to help you assess the neighborhood you’re buying into.

  1. Is it safe?

    A good neighborhood is one that is free of crime. Although often pricey, getting a house inside a subdivision with security personnel is ideal. On the other hand, crime happens even in posh neighborhoods so it is best to know beforehand if there are no prior incidents in the area. Also consider the distance of your house to a river, or a mountain, or to any geographical hazards. The Philippines is a flood-prone and landslide-prone country and it is best to consider these things so as not to unnecessarily expose yourself or your family to tricky situations.

  2. Is it accessible?

    A good neighborhood is not far from schools, banks, hospitals, the grocery and your workplace. Consider services and provisions for you and your family in shopping for a home. A quality school close by is needed for the education of your growing children. For cash withdrawals and health emergencies, banks and hospitals have to be nearby. Another consideration that you should not overlook is the distance to your workplace. With rush hour traffic, a chunk of your time is spent on fume-filled roads instead of resting at home with your family.

  3. Is it reasonably quite?

    A good neighborhood is far from vehicular noises and annoying sounds. Residing near a busy road has its perks, especially when taking public transports during rainy days. The downside is living with the noise of passing vehicles and honking horns when you are preparing to go sleep. Dogs are adorable but when they unendingly bark and howl in the middle of the night, it tests your patience. I have experienced living in a house near a neighbor with beagle dogs and it is frustrating to hear their nightly barking and howling.

  4. Is it clean?

    A good neighborhood is free from clutter. Nobody wants to live in a neighborhood with dog poop dotting the pavements or garbage scattered all around. No offense to the dogs, but owners must be responsible to pick-up the filth left by their pets and throw them in the bin. Check if garbage is regularly picked up. A neighborhood environment is expected to be free from pollution and provide fresh air to regenerate the body from regular exposure to toxic fumes, especially for commuters.

  5. Is there room for fine living?

    A good neighborhood has functional facilities that provide comfort, relaxation and entertainment for its residents. It can have a community recreational center, playground, nature parks and scenic views. It may also include the convenience of having spas, gyms, coffee shops and fine restaurants. Lifestyle amenities and services for outdoor activities promote quality living and add value to the neighborhood.

Characteristics of the neighborhood have a large impact on your way of living. Before purchasing a house, do a research on its environs. Read about the location, talk to people around the area and those who are familiar with it, or hire a real estate agent to do the work for you.



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