Thursday, February 10, 2011

7 Facts You Need to Know About a Neighborhood before Buying a Home

Hopefully the economy will encourage a move into the dream home we’ve planned for, or to at least get started toward the larger home we need for our growing family. Any move always takes us to a new location across town, or a new neighborhood in an entirely different city. However, no move should be undertaken until everything important to you has been explored.

Moving from one state to another, we took a long week-end several times to look for a home. Having children, among the first things parents think of is:

(1) are the schools adequate? Are they neighborhood schools? Then:

(2) is this house in a low to nil crime rate area? Even these two questions may make us look at other neighborhoods before settling on any one house.

Getting the school situation well in hand, another thing to consider is the:

(3) fire rating. This can make a huge difference on yearly insurance premiums, if indeed there is a source of water close by or is the house in an all-volunteer fire department area.

Being from the family of a paramedic, we think in terms of:

(4) is the Ambulance service timely and efficient for this neighborhood?

One of the most important things to me in the moves we’ve had to make with our growing family, among those already mentioned, is the:

(5) church. If a family has a preference for a certain church, the availability of that church or one like it should be checked.

(6) Is there a neighborhood association or neighborhood watch. This would also bring up association fees if there are any.

(7) One thing of importance to any home owner is the appearance of the neighborhood as a whole. Are there cluttered yards? Are there rules against junk cars being parked along the street? Do people care about the appearance of their homes to passersby? Like a well groomed yard.

Remember our home may be the largest in the neighborhood, and if the neighbors are great, we can be happy in our home. If on the other hand, there is a gang living a few streets over, no house feels safe if danger is lurking at our door. Also I will add here a note of significance, is the neighborhood a mixture of homes with apartments?

If it isn’t too late, find another home that is strictly in a single family dwellings area. There is much to be said about our neighborhood and feeling safe even if we do not know everyone on both sides of the street. So happy house hunting!

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  1. Anonymous4:53 PM

    you can learn the makeup of the neighborhood by driving through at different hours of the day and evening.
    Watch the school bus stops, and you will find how many kids of varying ages are in the neighborhood. Lots of kids, means lots of families, few kids mean small families or probably older folks in the neighborhood.
    Early evening, watch who is waling or biking the local streets, you will find out, if young or old, or check out the nearby parks.

    A little observation, will tell you a lot of the neighborhood.

  2. Anonymous5:12 PM

    Another thing to check for is how well the rules are enforced. Whether it’s a government or a subdivision association. Some subdivision trustees allow people to let there pets run loose or bark constantly and do nothing about it. A former subdivision of ours had at least two households that were two years or more in arrears on there assessments and spent the money they did get on subdivision wide parties rather than collect from the deadbeats. They also let a commercial vehicle be parked on the street every night and on weekends in violation of county ordinance. Any rule, law, or ordinance is nothing more than a suggestion unless it’s enforced. Visit a potential neighborhood in the evening hours to see what really goes on before you decide.