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Best neighborhoods to buy real estate

Buying a home is a complicated process that can take an emotional and financial toll on a client. It’s the culmination of years of working and saving, and offers a gateway to a new chapter of someone’s life.

Multiple factors go into this disorienting decision.

“These are transactions that typically happen just a handful of times over the course of an individual or couple’s life,” says advisor Robert Greenman of Vista Capital Partners in Portland.

“As the advisor, our goal is to arm the client with as much information as possible to help them feel comfortable during this process.”

A house is arguably the most significant purchase a client will ever make, and they’ll often turn to an advisor for guidance on affordability and mortgage considerations and recommendations for other professionals they may need.

“Once we discuss the monthly mortgage payments and down payment, I provide them with the name of the mortgage person I have personally used on a few different occasions myself,” says advisor Ryan Marshall of Ela Financial in Wyckoff, New Jersey. “This is crucial because I have heard horror stories of clients using their friends that are part time mortgage professionals or using someone who really isn’t seasoned in handling a mortgage. The person I refer them to, I have personally used and more importantly, I know and trust.”

Setting expectations when a client is looking to buy a home is crucial as well, Marshall says.

“There are several things that need to fall in line in order to get the mortgage and it usually doesn’t go as smooth as you read in the books,” he notes. “There are appraisals, home inspections, title work and lots of documentations in between. If clients are going into this thinking they sign on the dotted line and they get a mortgage they are in for a surprise.”

Using new neighborhood boundary data, data solutions firm ATTOM ranked over 10,000 neighborhood housing markets nationwide based on six factors impacting the hyperlocal housing market: affordability, home price appreciation, school scores, crime rates, unemployment rates and property taxes.

“What strikes me about the top 10 list of neighborhoods is the geographic diversity,” Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM, said in an email. “There are amazing neighborhoods to be found in a wide variety of locales across the country. Those neighborhoods are certainly not all going to look the same, but they all have some combination of great quality-of-life amenities and solid housing market fundamentals that make them a great place to buy a home.”

Scroll through to see the top 10 U.S. neighborhood housing markets based on the index.

Pine Ridge neighborhood, Naples, Florida
Westlake neighborhood, Mobile, Alabama
Union neighborhood, San Jose, California
Westmoreland neighborhood, Charlotte, North Carolina
Hunters Hill neighborhood, Denver
Indian Ridge neighborhood, Glenview, Illinois
Notting Hill-Royal Crest neighborhood, San Jose, California
Germantown Park neighborhood, Germantown, Tennessee
North Carolina-080818
The Oaks neighborhood, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Liberty Lakes neighborhood, Wauconda, Illinois
$306,950 median price in first half 2018