Things to Consider About a Neighborhood Before Buying
Finding the perfect home in the ideal neighborhood is no easy feat, especially if you’re not familiar with the area. It can be especially hard to decide whether a neighborhood is for you if you’re relocating from out of town.
Due to the Fair Housing Act of 1968, real estate agents are limited in what they can tell you about a neighborhood, and prefer to stick to the facts of the property only. This is because there are laws against what agents can share with buyers, in order to reduce discrimination against certain protected classes such as race and religion. The responsibility, therefore, falls to the buyer to conduct their due diligence on the neighborhood they are interested in.
Here are five things to consider when deciding whether a neighborhood is for you.
Is It Safe?
Your home should be a safe haven away from the outside world, but if you decide to buy in a neighborhood that doesn’t offer you this security, you could end up bitterly regretting your choice.
There are several tools to utilize in order to decide if a neighborhood is safe by your standards. Websites such as CrimeReports gather police and crime report information for the public to view. Simply go to the site and type in your potential address to view all of the crimes that have been committed in your new neighborhood.
Other websites such as Neighborhood Scout also allow you to compare various crime rates of areas to your current neighborhood; this can help you to decide if you will feel safe enough.
Get A Feel For The Area
Visiting an area during the middle of the day can be a very different experience to going there once darkness falls. To get an accurate picture of the neighborhood you’re planning to move to, try and visit it more than once at different times of the day. You will also get the opportunity to see how well maintained the community is and if you feel safe walking around there.
The weekend can be a great time to get a realistic picture of an area, as there are usually residents out and about that you can chat to. These are the best people to give you advice and information on the neighborhood and what they like about it.
What Is The School Zone Like?
When it comes to resale value, one of the essential factors that affect the price of a home is the school zone it falls into. Even if you don’t have children, you should still consider the school district you’re buying in to.
Websites such as Great Schools are excellent resources that enable you to look up school rankings, as well as test scores and student to teacher ratios.
It is prudent to note, however, that while school zones are usually a good indication of a neighborhood, they are fluid and can change with each new evaluation a school receives.
What Is The Walkability Like?
Walk Score is an excellent online resource that ranks the walkability of over 3,000 cities and 10,000 neighborhoods. They score aspects of areas such as proximity to local amenities and entertainment, as well as traffic patterns and access to public transport. If walkability is important to you, you need to determine how walkable your new neighborhood is — before you buy a home there.
Learn The Dynamics Of The Area
Taking the time to understand the dynamics of an area can save you a lot of buyers remorse in the long-term. Website such as AreaVibes can help you to find neighborhoods that have aspects you prioritize, for example, if you like spending time outdoors you might choose a community that has plenty of recreational areas around it.