Neighborhood or Subdivision – What’s the Difference?


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The text book definition of neighborhood is a district or locality characterized by similar or compatible land uses.  Neighborhoods are often identified by a place name and have boundaries composed of major streets, barriers, or abrupt changes in land use.

Examples: 

  • Residential neighborhoods are often identified with a subdivision, an elementary school attendance zone, a major public facility, such as a college, or a small town within a larger urban area.  Homes in the neighborhood are of similar style, age and value.
  • Commerciall neighborhoods are generally associated with a major road, shopping center or central business district.
  • Industrial neighborhoods are general identified by common use of a transportation linkage.

As a buyer, it is an excellent idea to get the local paper and familiarize yourself with neighborhood happenings.  You can visit the board of education and schedule visits to local schools if you have school age children.  Churches, city council meetings, festivals, welcome center and chamber of commerce are a few other stops that are good for observing and discussing neighborhood trends.

The text book definition of subdivision is a tract of land divided into lots suitable for home building purposes.  Some states and localities require that a subdivision plat be recorded.

For buyers purchasing a home in a subdivision with a home owners association, a copy of the newsletter or a visit to the association meeting is advisable.  Be sure to visit the subdivision on several occasions; night, day, weekend, holiday, etc.  Also a call to the city and/or county police department for a request in the occurrences and reasons for dispatch can shed light on the most recent activity.  Finding the fire department that is responsible for servicing your home, the closest hospital and shopping preferences are important too.

Drive around, get to know the area you will be calling home!

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