Is Your New Nighborhood Safe In Connecticut? How to Research Your New Community
Finding the right home for you and your family involves more than the right number of bedrooms and lovley front yard; the neighborhood in which it's located can make a huge difference in the quality of your experience in the home. The most important consideration must be teh safety of the community. Not only is it critical componet of a healthy lifestyle, but it can also have a drastic effect on resale values.
Fortunately, there are some strategies and tools available to help you learn about the safety of your potential new home.
• Talk to the Neighbors – The first step in researching your new location is to talk with the locals. Start with the neighbors next door if possible, but also spend time in the local shops and ask about the community.
• Drive through the Neighborhood at Varying Times – One viist on a Saturday morning will never give you a sense of the neighborhood. Drive by on a Friday night and weekday afternoons to learn more about the community. Watch for childern playing in the parks and older couples out for a walk.
• Utilize Tools – There are a variety of online tools available. Crime research sites such as CrimeReports, SpotCrime, and NeighborhoodScoiut offer crime statistics. The National Sex Offender Public Website is another good research tool. Each city will also have a published crime blotter report available to review.
The safety and security of your new community should be a top consideration as your search for your new home. Taking the time to research the area will ensure you make the best decision possible for you and your family.
Public vs. Private Schools
Homebuyers know that the quality of the local schools is a critical component of their home search. Nothing is more important to parents than making sure their children receive quality education. Competition for college admission has increased to a fevered pitch over the past few decades, and parents want to set their children up early with the best opportunity for their future success. More and more, homebuyers are not simply looking at the public school system when choosing a new home, but the private school options as well.
Making the important decision about where to send your children to school requires some thought; here are a few of the benefits of each that can help you the right choice.
Benefits of Public Schools
• Higher Qualified Teachers – On average, public school teachers have higher educational qualifications than those of private schools, many having Master’s degrees.
• Strong Focus on Core Subjects – Public schools focus on the basics with an emphasis on mastery.
• Wider Extracurricular Activities – Public schools tend to have a larger population and can offer a vast array of sports teams, theater, arts, and music programs.
• Diversity – Public schools have students from all economic and ethnic backgrounds.
Benefits of Private Schools
• Smaller Classrooms – On average, private schools have a smaller student-to-teacher ratio than public schools.
• Strong Parent Involvement – Private schools not only encourage but rely on parent involvement.
• Less Red Tape – Private schools are not required to follow the strict state guidelines, which allows them to make quick decisions and adjustments based on each child’s needs.
Both public and private schools can offer students a solid education and school experience. Every community is different, and understanding the pros and cons of the local choices is becoming more and more important to parents.
Thinking about Refinancing In Connecticut
Tune in to the radio or watch TV in the evening and you’ll be bombarded with commercials offering incredibly low interest rates to refinance your home. These rates may sound enticing, and you may be wondering if it’s time to refinance your home loan. While refinancing can make financial sense in some situations, not everyone will benefit.
Most people consider refinancing to lower their interest rate. Even a slight change in the interest rate may add up to significant dollars over the life of the loan. When evaluating the new loan, remember to add in any additional costs. Ask if you will be responsible for closing costs or appraisal costs before jumping at a lower rate. The length of the loan is also important to review. Are you restarting the clock on a 30-year mortgage? It’s recommended to not refinance for longer than the years remaining on your current loan.
One great reason to refinance is to eliminate PMI (private mortgage insurance) or convert from a variable-rate loan to a fixed-rate loan. First-time borrowers may have had limited options for the original loan. But now with more equity and perhaps stronger credit, a refinance can put these borrowers into a better loan. A refinance can also offer a way to consolidate higher-interest debt by pulling money from the home to pay off credit cards or car loans.
Refinancing offers are everywhere. It may be a great time to take advantage of lower rates and lock in savings. Remember to consider all the costs associated with a refinance before assuming it’s a good financial decision.