Studies have shown families constantly moving from one home to another for many reasons. One main reason was that they didn't feel comfortable in their current neighborhood. A Russian proverb goes: "Don't buy the house, buy the neighborhood."
So many homeowners are focused on simply getting a realtor, inspection, surveys and appraisals complete. Those steps are all important especially an appraisal because it helps the buyer figure out what to offer when buying a home. However, they don't spend the same amount of time researching the neighborhood.
An article I read gave some very helpful tips on how to inspect your future neighborhood.
1. Conduct a Criminal Search
If you're a parent, the last person you want to be near is a sex offender, or someone that had a rap sheet of kidnapping or selling drugs. Use your resources. There are many websites that allow you to search sex offenders in the area as well as the crime such as: crimemapping.com and NSOPW.gov.
Many home buyers check the home in broad daylight on a weekday. Change it up and visit the home on a weekend or preferably in the evening. Walk around and observe your surroundings. If you're a homeowner who can't stand owners who don't clean up their dogs droppings, as silly as that sounds, that might not be the neighborhood for you.
3. If you have children who are still in elementary or high school, researching the school is a must. A child can't learn under hostile conditions, so such schools in that area for a smoother transition. But most of all choose a school for it's academics and safety.
4. An ideal home would be one not so far from a job. If commuting for you is a big issue, find homes around your job. Take a day off of work and get a feel for traffic in the area. You never know how good or bad the commute is if you never tried it before hand.
There are so many factors that go into choosing a good neighborhood. You as the buyer should make a list of what's most important to you.
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