Five Critical Tips When Evaluating a Neighborhood

Choose where you purchase a home carefully. When asked why they bought the home they currently live in, many homeowners respond in a way that suggests that their decision was happenstance rather than intentional. Life is short, so make your decision an intentional one.

1. What time is it? What day is it?
The time and day you visit a neighborhood can dramatically alter your feelings about a neighborhood. On a weekday, it will almost always seem quiet compared to weekends and early drive times. Sit in your car at night and listen for noise level – traffic, kids, dogs, etc…

2. It’s how far it is to the grocery store? Schools? Work?
Time and money – they’re both critical. Quality of life isn’t just about a great home. It’s also about how much time you can spend with your family doing things you enjoy. Long distances can increase gas costs …Remember when gas was $4.50 a gallon? Sometimes little bottlenecks can cause major commuting headaches, like that endless traffic light that increases your commute time 15 minutes each way. When you think about schools, include all levels – preschool, elementary, middle and high school. Even if it’s not important to you, it may be when it comes time to sell.

3. I live next door to whom?
Check out your prospective neighbors. And not just next door. Knock on doors down the street. Don’t be shy… just tell them you’re thinking of buying and have some prepared questions like, “What’s the best thing about living in this community?” …. “What the worst thing?” Prospective neighbors usually freely offer their opinions of neighborhood safety, noise, school performance, commuting times, etc.

4. Get familiar with the New Neighborhood…
Assess neighborhood characteristics, such as the appearance of landscape and yards. Is the neighborhood fence free with neighbors mingling, or does everyone have 8 foot fencing? Match your privacy tastes to that of the community.

5. Don’t forget Google…
The internet provides an abundance of information through specialty websites, including homeowners association websites, and even neighborhood blogs … so don’t forget to do a little surfing.

Need help, have questions? We’re just a phone call away. Remember the importance of becoming a Certified Homebuyer before you make that first offer.. It’s the strongest pre-approval in the industry!! Need a good Realtor? We can refer you to the best! Happy House Hunting! –SDE