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5 Ways To Investigate A Neighborhood Before You Buy
1. Talk to the neighbors
Without being intrusive, look for an opportunity to chat with your potential neighbors. A great place to do that is the neighborhood coffee shop, park or the start of the walking trial. Let them know your considering a move and ask their opinion about the neighborhood. If you find the right people that are willing to share stories about problem neighbors, things they love about the area or if they regret moving there.
2. Visit during different times, weekday and weekend
Drive the morning and after work commute to see if the traffic is bearable. Check it out at night to get a sense of what goes on after hours. Visit on the weekend and early morning, too. The more times of day you go, the more chances you will have to get the feel for the neighborhood.
3. Check out the neighborhood blog, HOA website and Facebook page
You can find out a lot about a neighborhood you are considering on-line. Check the local news groups as well. Some neighborhoods have blogs where locals ask for tips and advice, or post issues or concerns affecting the neighborhood. A Google search should help you find out whether there’s a blog for the neighborhood you’re considering. Post a question about the neighborhood and let the group give you some insight.
4. Property Report Websites & Apps
Websites that have property profiles which include feature financial, demographic and lifestyle information, including elevator wait times, rodent sightings, neighbors’ political orientation, and crime maps. Services that provide property reports include AddressReport, Homefacts, RealtyTrac and Housefax. Some smartphone apps, such as CrimeReports for iPhone, provide information about crime based on your location or address. Among the problems you may see displayed on a map are noise nuisances, sex offenders and vehicle break-ins. The CrimeReports app gives you some specifics, such as when and where each incident occurred.
5. Google the street address
If you Google the home’s street address, you might be amazed at what you find. You might, for instance, discover a nearby home-based business with employees (which could reduce street parking spaces). Using Google’s Street View, where photos can be months if not years old, you might discover that the ground-floor bedroom window once had bars on it.
Be a sleuth before the sale. The Internet is an amazing resource of information. Too often, though, potential home buyers don’t fully use it to find out everything they can before entering into a contract on a home. As soon as you have identified a home you want to buy, get online and do your homework. You might be pleasantly — or unpleasantly — surprised by what you learn.
Once you decide you would like to start your home search, you can text "ana" to 469.518.4238 to download a free app to search the MLS.