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How To Investigate The Neighbourhood Where You Are Buying A Home
It’s been bugging you for a whole day. You have visited the open house, physically inspected it for defects to your satisfaction, decided that the asking price is fair, and your children seemed to like the house as well. But is it really the perfect neighbourhood as the agent wants you to believe?
Because you’ve had only spent maybe a couple of hours at the residence, it is hardly enough to have a genuine picture of what really goes on routinely in the neighbourhood. A seller will also inevitably arrange an open house during timings that are favourable to him. Saying that, it is almost impossible to form a 100% picture of the neighbourhood until you reside in a home for some time. But at least you can do so to a certain extent if you put some effort into it.
Considering that there is a lot of money at stake on your part, doing some homework is probably the least you can do as a form of respect to the cash sitting in your personal account. Sometimes the unimaginable can be a hallmark of a neighbourhood that only an outsider is oblivious to. For example, neighbours who are at war with each other, shady people selling contraband items on the streets at night, clubs that attract the type of crowd which you don’t like, etc. Here are some ways to conduct an investigation of the neighbourhood before you buy a home.
Talk to neighbours
There are no better people to ask about a place than the actual residents. Knock on doors and introduce yourself as a potential future neighbour. People are usually very open to conversing with potential neighbours. They would often bring up the most significant positives and negatives in their own personal opinion. So even though they might be open, they could provide information that does not matter that much to you. If you have a specific concern, it is better to ask directly rather go around in circles.
Visit during different hours
If you an extremist you might be considering spending a week renting in the neighbourhood to experience it yourself. But that is not practical for a lot of people. You want to make a visit during the day and night, on weekdays and weekends. If the house faces a wide road, you might want to take a look during peak hours to observe traffic. Busy roads can also be a constant source of noise pollution. If the windows of the rooms faces a children’s playground, you might want to have a look during the evening to check out the noise level. Outdoor basketball courts can also often play host to fanatics late into the night. Multi-storey buildings often also have retailers operating on the ground floor. They could be operating a heavy duty compressor that comes on at night, or even be a gathering ground for “beautiful” people after late night clubbing. And if where the afternoon sun is shining is of particular concern to you, you want to take a look at it yourself instead of taking an agent’s words at face value.
Read up the local news
There are always little communities in neighbourhoods that try to make it a better place for all residents. They are usually a fresh source of happenings in the area. If you are lucky, they might even be publishing a monthly newsletter for residents. You want to pay attention to anything concerning safety. You can also get online to search for these communities. These days they are all over Facebook, Google, and public forums. Get online and engage with them. This is a great place where you can either get frank answers or information that make no sense. Because of the convenience and anonymity of the internet, people could be more willing to talk without a fear of being judged.
Sometimes the deepest secrets of an area can be the easiest to find. Just ask the internet. You can possibly dig up the biggest stories of a particular state or area in the last 5 years at least by doing so. Cranky and weird stories get a lot of attention from the media. So if there is a problem peculiar enough for the public’s concern or interest, the odds are that a journalist will have covered it before. You never know what you are going to find.
Moving to a new neighbourhood can be a defining decision that determines your own sanity in the immediate to medium term future. It concerns both you and your family. Not to mention your money as well. If you agree that it is such a major decision, you should attempt to spend a little more time and effort in investigating whether a location is really satisfactory to your expectations. You are not crazy to let this bug you. You are crazy not to.