You may have grown up in the Portland area and know exactly where to buy your first home or maybe you are downsizing and have had your next location in mind for awhile.  Perhaps you are relocating and have heard of many popular communities or neighborhoods.

If you are lucky, you will find the location of your dreams right away.  However many home buyers find themselves debating between several neighborhoods determining strengths and weaknesses for each. If on a budget or with children, it is often schools, commuting and finances that dictate location the most.

Here are some suggestions from the  Home Buying for Dummies Book.

1)  Prioritize your needs.
Buying a home on a budget means trade-offs.  For the neighborhood you dream of it may mean purchasing a smaller home.  You must decide what factors are most important to you!

2) Talk to people who live in the neighborhoods.      

People living, working and playing in the community will have the most insight into pros and cons.  The Rob Levy Team recommends taking a day or two to walk or at least drive around the neighborhood at a few different times of day.  See how far the closest gym, park, freeway and coffee shop is.

3) Get the Days-on-Market (DOM) statistics from our team.

DOM statistics show how long the average house takes to sell in an area.  (Ask a team member about this, if a property has been listed by two agents back to back it may only reflect the current listing's DOM.)  Quick sales often indicate strong buyer demand which should make you feel good about the neighborhood you are investing in.

4) Get help from a professional.

This is where we come in!  Home Buying for Dummies suggests speaking to a REALTOR®, lender or appraiser to compare the upside potential of home values in each neighborhood.

In the end, only you know what neighborhood will be best for your family.  There are no guarantees with "up-and-coming" neighborhoods, but the more you put into your community the more you will get out of it.  If you have plenty of time to scope out the area before you buy maybe take a Sunday drive through some different parts of town.  You may be surprised the many secret great finds around town.  The Office of Neighborhood Involvement has reported there are more than 90 neighborhood associations in Portland!