Posted on: 3 August 2017
If you have had a problem living in the wrong neighborhood before, or you have kids and just want to be extremely cautious, then fully checking out the neighborhood is important before buying real estate. Luckily, technological advances give the home shoppers of today access to a lot more information they can access right at their fingertips. While your real estate agent can give you some information, such as certain statistics, there is always more you can learn. There are still other ways to check out a neighborhood as well. Here are a few ways you can make sure the area is going to be a good fit for your household:
1: Take a weekend cruise around the entire neighborhood
Don't simply focus on the street a house you are interested in is on, you want the whole neighborhood to be nice and safe.
- Listen for a lot of barking dogs; this can show that people feel the need to have protection when there are many.
- Look for graffiti which can be signs of gangs in the area.
- Look for a lot of houses with bars on the windows, any yards protected with barbwire or houses with windows boarded up.
- Listen for yelling or the sounds of people arguing.
- Look for people walking with strange body language that looks as if they may be high on drugs.
2: Take a walk up and down 'your' street at dusk
Have someone accompany you on a walk around dusk. This way, you know most people will be home and there will also be a good chance some will even be taking walks themselves. You may get the opportunity to speak with people watering their lawns, taking their dogs for a walk or those getting out of their car just getting home from work. Say "Hi" to as many people as possible with the hopes that it opens up the chance for a conversation, so you can ask them questions.
- Ask them if they feel safe in the neighborhood.
- Ask them if they find the neighbors are easy to get along with and if it's a close-knit community where everyone looks out for one another.
- Ask them if they think it is a good place to raise a family and if there are a lot of children in the area (if you have children of your own).
- Ask if they have any concerns they feel you should be aware of if you decide to move in the neighborhood.
3: Check several online neighborhood statistic sites
There are a lot of sites online, such as city-data.com, that allow you to find out very specific information regarding areas. These sites can help give you a clear picture on things like:
- Crime statistics and information on the numbers of the different types of crime.
- Information on the cost of living as far as housing goes, and possibly other things like utilities, groceries, etc.
- Businesses located in the city you are checking out, as well as businesses within a certain number of miles from that city.
- The average age of residents in that area, as well as the average number of people per family.
- Information on the weather patterns and temperatures throughout the year.
- Number and types of churches in the area, as well as statistics on religions in the region.