Larger developments, such as our Seven Oaks community in Tampa, have additional benefits smaller developments and neighborhoods don't like clubhouses and recreational complexes.

Larger developments, such as our Seven Oaks community in Tampa, have additional benefits smaller developments and neighborhoods don't like clubhouses and recreational complexes.

When you’re looking for a new home for you and your family, many buyers begin to think first about the number of bedrooms they need, the kind of kitchen appliances they’d like or what type of floor plan is needed to accommodate their family’s furniture and lifestyle. But smart home buyers know that finding the right neighborhood is even more important than finding the perfect home. After all, a great house can be built anywhere, but it’s the neighborhood it resides in that makes a house a home.

So when you’re looking for that perfect home, here’s the process to go through before you start talking to builders:

What’s on your list? Think about the type of lifestyle you and your family would like to have. Is privacy a concern? Do you want the type of neighborhood where you can easily walk outside and have a friendly conversation? Do you want other people or families who are similar in age and place in life? Is ease of access to transportation, shopping or schools important? How often will you use nearby parks and recreational spaces? By drawing up a list of the things you want and ranking them in importance, you’ll have a guideline for assessing the different neighborhoods you’ll soon be researching.

Do some digging. Speaking of research, now take that list and look into the possibilities. A good place to start is online, where you can review virtually things like a neighborhood’s location and how close it is to amenities such as shopping, highways and mass transit, schools and anywhere you might take the kids for extra curricular activities. This is the time to get a good list of possible to neighborhoods to go out and experience first hand.

Take a drive. Plan a day of investigating the neighborhoods you researched in person. Bring the whole family as everyone’s perspectives and observations are important. If access to highways is critical, what were the traffic patterns into and out of the development? Talk to the community spokesperson and see if there are schools on site or where the bus stops are. Take a tour of things like clubhouses, pools, sports courts and other recreational areas.

First impressions. As you’re driving down the streets of your potential new neighborhoods, could you see you and your family living there? Does your “gut” tell you you’ve found the right place or to keep looking at other choices? At this time, you might even start to look at the styles of homes in the neighborhoods — first glances of the outside of homes can give you a good starting impression as to whether you should spend time looking any further.

Ask some questions. Once you’ve narrowed down your choice of neighborhoods, make an appointment with a community representative to have your questions answered. If you can, stop by the clubhouse or sales center on your way out — that way you won’t forget anything (you can always e-mail any additional questions later once you’re at home).

Make a decision. Take all you’ve learned — what you saw, what everyone felt or experienced, the questions you had answered — and compare them to the initial list of needs and desires you created. By now, you should be able to narrow your choices down to one or two options and the last step — speaking with the builder or builders — can now be done with the confidence that at least you’ve found that perfect neighborhood.

If you’d like to come out and visit one of Crown Community’s developments and tour their various neighborhoods, we make it easy by not only having a great web site (and other online resources!) available for you, but also a convenient appointment-scheduling form online so you can get a personal tour of our development.