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Screen Your Future Neighborhood Before Buying A House

Updated on January 27, 2016

The Neighborhood

One of the most common mistakes made when buying a house is not thoroughly checking the neighborhood. The three most common words you always hear are:


There are many things you can do to modify a house, including remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, move walls, paint, etc., but once you buy the house, you cannot change the location.

Also, while you're going through the process of buying a house, remember this important statement:


If you make good decisions when buying a house in a desirable location, chances are that location will remain favorable to house buyers in the future.

Check the areas or communities you would prefer to live. Look at the proximity to your work, schools, restaurants, shopping, etc. You certainly need to drive through the neighborhoods in the daytime, at night, on weekends, and even in the rain, to find out what the neighborhood is like under all circumstances.

An important question to ask: What kind of quality of life will we experience in this neighborhood?

Understand the the ideal neighborhood in your mind may not be the same as that of your relatives, friends, or coworkers. If you have children, your wants and desires will be different than your friends without children.

Think about the following questions and comments when looking at a neighborhood:

* Quality of school district.

* Overall quality of the neighborhood.

* Convenience to job.

* Close to friends and family.

* Proximity to shopping and leisure activity.

* Can you take evening strolls or ride a bicycle around the neighborhood and feel safe?

* What kind of crime rate in the neighborhood?

* Do the neighbors keep their yards neat and clean?

* Does the neighborhood have sidewalks?

* Is the house close to parks and recreation activities?

* Is there a community swimming pool?

* Where is the nearest fire station?

* Is there public transportation?

* What about traffic?

* Is the yard appropriate for kids?

* Does the house have curb appeal?

* Talk to friends and coworkers if they are familiar with the neighborhood?

* Are there annoying sounds or smells?

* Are there train tracks nearby?

* Are there overhead power lines nearby?

* Are there empty houses in the neighborhood?

* Avoid areas with a lot of foreclosures.

* Investigate the neighborhood amenities.

* Are you happy with the architectural style?

* Find out about any future development plans.

* Are there homeowner's association fees?

* If you have a dog, is there a dog park nearby?

* Have lunch in a local restaurant.

* Visit churches.

* Check the National Sex Offender database.

* How does the neighborhood make you feel?

* Look up the address on the internet.

* Do you see any old cars tucked away in the back yard of a house?

* Look for many cars parked outside of a house.

* Is the neighbors house too close?

* Do the next door neighbors have a dog or a cat?

* Are there parking restrictions such as no overnight parking in the street?

* Is there a dangerous intersection nearby?

* Is the neighborhood in a flight path?

* Can you get service in the area with your cell phone?

* Is there a pond in the neighborhood that attract geese? Very dirty.

* Does the neighborhood have any covenants? Can you make changes to the exterior of the house?

Hopefully, this information will help you make the best real estate decisions for you and your family.


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