Blog / Why You Should Look For Homes in More Than One Neighborhood


Why You Should Look For Homes in More Than One Neighborhood

Some house hunters have a tendency to pick a neighborhood they want to live in and only shop for houses in that area. This can be an effective strategy in some cases, but for most people, it’s better to expand the search further to gain access to better options.

Great Potential for Surprises 

You can know a neighborhood like the back of your hand and still remain clueless about the various assets and attractions of an area less than a mile away. From incredible parks to great community resources and unexpectedly beautiful views, stepping outside your comfort zone can be a great way of discovering new things that will add to your quality of life. Looking in different sections a city or town lets you learn the lay of the land and discover what hidden gems may be waiting for you out there in the world of real estate.

Wider Net, More (and Potentially Better) Inventory

Searching in a wider area gives you access to a lot more houses in different styles and at different price points. Some neighborhoods tend to be characterized by homes of a certain design, either because that area developed rapidly at a specific point in time or because residents over the years have adopted a similar sense of architectural inspiration. When you look outside of an area like this, you find different home styles that may appeal to you even more. 

Having access to more options gives you a much better chance of finding a home with the right balance of features and budget friendliness. Limiting your search area may result in you excluding the perfect house from search right off the bat. Of course, if you do search in multiple neighborhoods and find that only one area suits your needs, you can narrow your search a bit. But you’ll never know what’s out there until you start looking.

When To Ignore This Advice 

There are some circumstances in which casting a wider net actually doesn’t make sense. The desire to keep your kids in their current school is one great example. When you’re happy with your current neighborhood, it makes sense to want to stay close to the things and people you’re familiar with. This approach creates minimal disruption, but it may take longer to find exactly what you’re looking for due to your self-imposed geographic limitations.

Budget constraints can also be a good justification for focusing on one neighborhood only, but it’s often worth it to avoid making assumptions. There are some affordable enclaves surrounded by expensive areas in California, but you may be surprised to find some more affordable properties within those expensive neighborhoods. Give it a shot at first, and if you really aren’t finding anything, you can zero in on an area you feel comfortable with.’s interactive map makes it easy to find great houses in multiple different places. Our powerful real estate search tool lets you plan a day of open house tours within a single area or on opposite sides of town.