If you're looking at buying a new home in a development, you know that you need to get the home inspected and look into issues like school ratings. But the immediate neighborhood can also greatly affect your happiness in the home. While that's true even for older homes in established neighborhoods, you have to pay particular attention to the area in a new development simply because it might not be completely finished yet, and it might not have been tested by having large numbers of people living there. Here are four things to consider in a new development that, if you look carefully, can make your new home even more enjoyable.
Sometimes the attraction of a new home lies in the open land surrounding the home. The idea of peace and quiet due to a lack of neighbors seems wonderful if you're coming from a crowded area. However, check out the plans for that land. If the developer wants to build more homes there, find out how close they'll be and if they'll be subject to the same homeowner's association rules as your home. If the land is going to be left open and does not have much grass on it, what sort of dust control will there be on windy days? If the land is agricultural, will you have to deal with farm smells or pesticide spraying? If the land is already owned—say the open land is a park—double-check trespassing laws and laws regarding noise, barbecues, and parties.
Lots of new developments are being built around private golf courses. This has an advantage in that the land probably won't be used for loud gatherings, but you should also check to see if golfers will be passing right by your backyard. The development should keep a good amount of space between your home and the course, but it pays to double-check.
If the development you're buying in is near an area that allows open-air events—concerts, marathon starts/finishes, and so on—try to go to the neighborhood when one of these is being held to see what noise will reach your home. Good developments configure the neighborhood so that excessive noise is blocked, but this is something you should check for yourself because "noise" is a highly subjective term.
New developments are typically built so that they're contained in a defined area. Check the number of entrance and exit streets from the development. If there's only one way in or out, and there's construction by that entrance at some point, that could create traffic flow issues. Look for developments where residents have at least two ways to get in and out of the neighborhood.
Note whether the houses next to the one you're looking at are taller than yours. In an area that gets very hot in summer, a taller house on your south or west means more shade for you in the afternoon. In areas with moderate summers and cold winters, shorter or same-level houses on the south or west mean more sunlight on a cold winter day. A taller house on the north side can function as a windbreak.
New homes can provide you with a peaceful, beautiful living space, especially if you find one in a development where the surrounding area won't create issues. If you'd like to see more new homes, talk to developers in your area for tours.