How do I get really know a neighborhood when searching for a house?
DISCOVERING The NEIGHBORHOOD
There are many factors to consider when selecting a neighborhood that is right for you. Think about the location in terms of commute time to work, distance from leisure-time activities, and proximity to shopping, schools or any other places you frequent. You may think of others factors that are important to you. Please take some time to write them down and share them with us. We are delighted to point in the direction of resource to help ensure that you are as well informed as possible before you consider your home purchase.
Scout out the Neighborhood!
- It is important that you scout the neighborhood in person – everyone’s taste is unique. Make sure the community matches your needs and lifestyle.
- Talk to people who live there. Ask us if we may have past clients in the area, often they are happy to share their knowledge and experience.
- Drive through the entire area at different times of the day, during the week, and on weekends.
- Look carefully at how well other homes in the area are being maintained—are they painted; are the yards well cared for; are parked cars in good condition?
- Consider attending any upcoming community or HOA event!
Neighborhood Factors to Consider
- Look for things such as access to major thoroughfares, highways, and shopping.
- Consider recreating your work drive during similar commute times.
- Listen for noise created by commerce, roads, railways, public areas, schools, etc.
- Travel through the community on weekends and after school hours.
- Check with local civic, police, fire, and school officials to find information about the area. Police Public Information Officers can be a great resource.
- Research environmental topics such as soil and water quality, as well as floodplain implications.
- Study traffic patterns around the area at different times of the day and measure drive time from the area to work.
- Is the neighborhood near parks, places of religious worship, recreation centers, shopping, theaters, restaurants, public transportation, schools, etc.? Consider where you spend your time, outside of your home.
- Does the neighborhood have a Homeowner’s Association? If so, how much is it and what does that add to my monthly payment.