The neighborhood your house is in is just as important as the house itself. Before you buy a home, taking some time to take a look at the neighborhood and do a little bit of research about it could save you from buying a home in a place that really is not right for you. Here are some essential aspects of neighborhood research every buyer should do:
- How much does food cost? Especially if you are moving into a new city or a new state, take some time to go to stores in the area and get an idea of how much food costs. In some neighborhoods, food is going to be more expensive than in other neighborhoods. This might not seem like that big of a deal, but you could end up paying twice as much for a gallon of milk on one side of town than on the other side of town.
- What does the crime rate look like? If you are new to the area, you are going to want to look up the crime rate online. Don’t assume that just because the neighborhood looks okay, that it actually is okay. Look out for any neighborhood that has high incidences of homicide, burglary, car theft, fire, and sexual offenders. There are websites online that will show you a map of reported crimes in your area and when they occurred so you can get a good idea of what types of crimes are committed and how often they are committed in your area.
- How much traffic is there? You might like the sound of cars rushing past on a highway near your home. In that instance, you might look for a house near the highway. If you’re sensitive to noise, however, you might be looking for a quieter neighborhood. It’s easy to say, when you are buying a home, that the noise of the train passing by won’t annoy you. But you’ll probably be annoyed if it wakes you up at three am every single night.
- Is there access to public transportation? You do not want to have to walk three miles, just to get on a bus for an hour in order to get to work. Are you close enough to public transportation if you need it?