You’ve been searching for your perfect dream home, and you’ve found one that fits all your criteria. It has the right number of bedrooms in just the right sizes, the full bath you’ve always dreamed of, and even a finished basement. However, location really is important, and if you don’t know the neighborhood, you may end up regretting your decision. Here are five questions to ask yourself before you make an offer.
What’s the Crime Rate?
Just because a neighborhood might seem nice on the outside, this doesn’t mean that crime isn’t growing. After all, many once upscale neighborhoods across the country are now riddled with crime. Make use of online crime maps, contact the city’s police department, and ask some of the people in the area. Store clerks can even be very helpful in this regard as they spend several hours per day interacting with the locals.
How Are the Schools?
Once you’ve determined the crime rate, the next big question comes down to the school systems. Some areas will allow you to choose from a number of different schools within a particular zone; other areas may require you to send your child to a particular elementary, middle, or high school based solely on your address. Learn more about the school system in your district, and if you aren’t pleased, find out about tuition for sending your child to another public school, or perhaps even a private school, instead.
Is There Public Transportation?
While public transportation may not be all that important to you right now, there may come a time when you depend on it to help you get around, even for a few days at a time. Find out whether you will have access to a bus, shuttle, train, or other public transportation system that can get you to your most important destinations. Work, shopping, and even doctors’ appointments should all be important considerations.
Are There Kids in the Area?
If you have kids, then you’ll likely want to live in an area where there are other families with kids, too. This makes it easier for friends to spend time with one another without having to depend on mom, dad, or another caregiver to drive them to and from. With a little research, you can find out if there are other families in the area who have kids the same ages as yours. It’s just part of getting to know the neighborhood.
What’s the Demographic?
Finally, while it’s not important to everyone, you can’t really get to know the neighborhood unless you understand the overall demographic. Will you be the wealthy family on the block, or will you feel like you’re struggling to keep up with those around you? Are most of the other families elderly couples, couples with young children, or even young singles? These things can help you better understand your area.
Getting to know the neighborhood is an important step in your homebuying journey. A home may seem perfect inside and out, but things like crime, schools, and even the demographic are also very influential. Do your research before you buy, and your new house will truly feel like a home.