How to Choose the Right Neighborhood to Buy a House in

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

When you’re looking for a new home, you aren’t just looking for the right building. You’re looking for a home in a community with the amenities and services you need. You’re searching for a community that provides what you want and doesn’t bring problems. Here are tips on how to choose the right neighborhood to buy a house in.

Research the Schools

People pay a premium to be in a good school district. They pay more to be in walking distance of schools, public or private. However, you cannot rely on the real estate agent’s praise for the local school district. Research the schools your child will be assigned to. There’s no point of moving to be sent to the worst school in the district. Even if you don’t have children, this information still affects the resale value of the house.

Visit at All Hours

Don’t just drive through the neighborhood when you’re there for a showing. Visit at night to see if there are loud neighbors or wild parties that would make it a nightmare if you try to live there. Verify that people who live here are comfortable enough to be out past sunset; if they aren’t, this is a warning that the community is unsafe, even if crime stats don’t look unusually high. Look closely at the community members and not just their real estate.

Take It for a Test Drive

Before you decide on a neighborhood, drive there from work to see how bad the traffic is. Also, try to reach that community so you can test the morning commute. Just because a neighborhood is a short distance from work doesn’t mean congested streets won’t make it take as long as your current drive. What if you take public transit? Try to take public transit from that community and see if the people you’re sharing the bus and/or train with are ones you wouldn’t mind seeing every day. If it is very crowded or crime is an issue, consider somewhere else.

Some people say you should value proximity to parks and local attractions. However, the commute to work matters more than proximity to parks since there are many recreational opportunities - including your own yard - for your children.

Check Out the State of the Neighborhood

Rows of empty storefronts and closing venues are a bad sign. If the neighborhood is seeing a lot of foreclosures, that’s another warning sign. While many communities have at least a few foreclosures, many of them are bought up by bargain hunters. If there are visible foreclosure listings, this means demand for the area’s real estate is weak while many who live there are either leaving or unable to stay because the economy is bad. You can also visit a site like Housing Predictor to identify good markets.


Finding a great neighborhood is all about doing the proper research and a little bit of detective work. Before you decide on the neighborhood, make sure that you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for and do your due diligence by getting as much information as you can.

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