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Follow These 7 Tips to Find Your Perfect Neighborhood

The Ann + Melinda Group


Follow These 7 Tips to Find Your Perfect Neighborhood

As a prospective Ridgewood homebuyer, you’re inundated with options when it comes to home listings. With impressive estates on peaceful streets, this prestigious Bergen County suburb has so much to offer. The homes here showcase serenity and sophistication, with meticulous curb appeal, gourmet kitchens, lofty ceilings, grand staircases, sleek finishes, expansive lawns, and entertainment areas.

Even with such impressive real estate, you can never be sure that you’ve found your next home until you thoroughly evaluate the neighborhood. Finding the perfect community will require some due diligence, but if you know what to look for and team up with a trusted agent who knows the area inside and out, your work will pay off.

Check out these top tips to kick off your new neighborhood search.

1. Consider your personal real estate goals

Are you looking for your next lucrative investment property or your long-term family home? This question makes a big difference when looking at neighborhoods and specific properties. If you’re seeking out a new residence, what are your priorities and “must-have” features? Are you looking for a spacious lot size with an expansive backyard, easy access to local shopping and dining spots, great school districts, or all of the above?

Your preferences may predispose you to a very specific area, or you may be happy looking more broadly. Your agent will help you navigate the communities that most closely fit your lifestyle and interests.

2. Consider the neighborhood’s unique features, amenities, and zoning requirements

Do you want to live in a more secluded area or one that’s closer to the action of downtown? The zoning in and around your neighborhood might be something to take a closer look at, especially from an investment perspective. Zoning determines what — if any — new businesses or developments might appear near your property in the future. Zoning regulations can also determine how a property can be used, in case you are thinking of modifying a property after purchasing.

In the meantime, think about whether or not a particular neighborhood meets your day-to-day needs. Are you prepared to live in a purely residential area and then commute everywhere else, or do you want to live in proximity to fantastic restaurants, amenities, and local entertainment spots?

For those considering living in Ridgewood, the downtown scene has plenty in store. From fantastic restaurants to retail therapy spots, there is so much to do and see. In addition to great eateries and shopping areas, Van Neste Square Memorial Park is an idyllic spot for taking a stroll. The downtown area also features historic architectural wonders like the Archibald-Vroom House.

3. Decide whether or not you want an HOA

Homeowners’ associations place certain restrictions on homeowners in an effort to maintain the property’s value (and, by extension, the neighborhood’s value and prestige). HOA communities often offer the benefit of shared amenities, community spaces, and landscaping maintenance.

On the other hand, living under HOA rules and paying HOA fees may be a dealbreaker for you. Either way, discuss your HOA concerns with your agent so that you can receive guidance about where to look for your next home. 

4. Take a look at the local schools

For families with school-aged children, the quality of local schools is a significant component of any home search. For those considering living in Ridgewood, it’s important to research the Ridgewood Public Schools system to get a glimpse at their enrollment numbers, educational programs, extracurricular offerings, parent-teacher involvement, graduation rates, accolades, and more. Does the school offer extracurricular programs your child is interested in?

Ridgewood Public Schools features six elementary schools (Willard, Orchard, Hawes, Ridge, Somerville, and Travell), while the educational options for middle schoolers in the district are Benjamin Franklin Middle School and George Washington Middle School. Ridgewood High School, which was founded in 1892, features a gorgeous, historic setting and an array of sporting events and clubs.

When considering the schooling options in the area, you might also want to think about your child’s commute from the neighborhood. Will they take the bus, or will you drive them? Is it within biking or walking distance?

5. Evaluate the type of homes available

If you’re thinking about living in Ridgewood, you have an array of beautiful homes to look forward to in your search. From stately single-family properties to upscale townhomes, Ridgewood boasts stunning residences. The luxury homes here feature spacious lots, multiple bedrooms and baths, soaring ceilings, open-concept living spaces, expansive patios, and designer elements at every turn. Many of the homes downtown hold plenty of historic appeal and charm.

6. Match the neighborhood to your budget

Of course, you want to find a new abode that fits comfortably into your budget. Your agent will work with you to connect you with properties in your desired area that match your interests, your specific needs, and your financial goals.

7. Consult with a local Realtor who knows the neighborhoods inside and out

In a charming destination like Ridgewood, NJ, you’re bound to fall in love with the gorgeous green space, elegant historic ambiance, pristinely landscaped curb appeal, and spacious homes. However, if you want the inside scoop on all the top neighborhoods in your preferred area, it’s time to seek the guidance of a local real estate professional.
If you’re interested in the Ridgewood area, it’s time to connect with the expert REALTORS® at The Ann + Melinda Group. With more than 35 years of combined experience backing their top-tier reputation, The Ann + Melinda Group is a highly esteemed New Jersey team specializing in high-end properties, including the best in Glen Rock, Ho-Ho-Kus, Wyckoff, and Ridgewood real estate. By working with The Ann + Melinda Group, you can expect unparalleled knowledge, attentive service, market insights, and a dedication to success. Leave your home search to the elite pros of Bergen County — reach out today to begin your real estate journey.

*Header photo courtesy of The Ann + Melinda Group

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