Anyone looking to buy a home needs to research the neighborhood before committing to a purchase. This ensures they get a full picture of where they will be living and who they will be living nearby. This can make the difference between the buyer being ecstatic in their new home or counting the days until they can move. What should be considered at this time?
Learn Who the Neighbors Are
When purchasing a home, it’s nice to know who the neighbors are. Once the names of the property owners are located, a potential buyer can look for social media accounts. These accounts may provide information about parties the neighbors have or who their friends are. These friends may be spending time in the neighborhood, so this information is nice to have. In addition, a person can research the neighbors to see if anyone is on the sex offender registry or has a criminal background. PropertyScout can help with gathering this information.
Ask About the Neighborhood
Who knows better about what goes on in a neighborhood than those who live there? Try to speak to several neighbors before buying a home. Learn what the group consensus is when it comes to life in the area. They can provide information on the noise level, things to do in the neighborhood, the general feel of the area, and more. For example, if the neighborhood has problems with flooding when it rains, this may not be listed on the plat. The potential owner needs this information, however, as they may need to purchase flood insurance. The neighbors know better than anyone about things such as this.
Learn About Grievances
Nobody wants to live between two neighbors who have a personal Hatfield and McCoy battle going on. Buying the home could put the new owner in the middle of this dispute. Each party may try to draw them into the dispute and make it unpleasant to live in the home. By researching the neighbors and learning a bit about their background, a potential buyer can avoid situations such as this.
In addition, the neighbors may have a problem with the seller. The seller has opted to dispose of the property so they don’t need to deal with the headache anymore. Sadly, these grievances may transfer to the new owner, which is nice to know before the property is purchased.
Depending on the neighborhood, access to public transportation may be important. People who don’t have a vehicle must be able to get around. While ride-share options remain available, a person might find them to be expensive. Buses, bike paths, and more should be considered when choosing a home if this is the case. Even those who have a vehicle should consider public transportation options, as they may be needed at times.
One thing that a person might not look into when purchasing a home is future development plans. This may not appear to be a major concern, but nobody wants to purchase their dream home only to find an airport is built next door five years later. They cannot be outside because the noise from the planes is deafening. Sadly, this does happen to some individuals, which is why checking future development plans should be one of the first things a potential buyer does when they find a house they love.
Learn whether the neighborhood has a homeowners’ association. Some people love having an association oversee the community because they know houses will be kept to a certain standard. Other people, however, dislike having an association because they want complete control over their property. They don’t want anyone else having a say in what color they paint the house or how often they weed the garden. This is a matter of preference, but it is helpful information to have before purchasing a residence.
Parents need to consider the local schools when buying a home. They want to ensure their kids have access to a good education even if they homeschool or currently have them in a private school. Things can change, and the children may need to attend a public school. Some schools have major problems parents must be aware of before buying a home. Other schools have an outstanding reputation, and parents need to take this into account when they purchase a house.
Some people prefer to live in the country where they have no neighbors. They don’t mind driving an hour or two when they need to go to the grocery store or want to see a movie. Other people, however, want to live right in the city where they can walk to everything. They may even get rid of their vehicle because they so rarely use it. This is a matter of preference but should be taken into consideration when buying a home. At a minimum, learn how near the closest grocery store is. People often need to run out to grab something and don’t want to drive long distances to pick up the essentials.
A person may review crime reports to learn more about a neighborhood and how safe they will be living in the area. However, neighbors may also share crimes that weren’t reported to the police. For example, a person might not file a report with the police when cars are egged in the neighborhood or trees are decorated with toilet paper. However, if this is a common occurrence, potential buyers appreciate having this information.
One thing to consider when talking to neighbors is they may not be honest in the information they provide. If they have a grievance with the current owner, they may paint a rosy picture of the neighborhood just to get rid of this individual. For this reason, talking with the neighbors should be one of several ways a person learns more about a neighborhood.
With the information contained in property records, a person can pull from various resources to learn whether they wish to purchase a property or look elsewhere. The internet has become a valuable tool for potential buyers, as they can learn a wealth of information in very little time.
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