The phrase “And it’s in a great neighborhood” seems to be part of every Realtor’s working vocabulary and sales pitch. The term is not usually well defined though; what makes a neighborhood so great? Here are a few things that you should look into before blindly believing what the Realtor says.
What is the crime like? Crime is a part of virtually every neighborhood, from simple vandalism to outright murder. You can find some great tools online that can help you find out what the neighborhood you’re looking is really like. Sites such as http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ let you view all the police reports from the area you are looking into. It also compares the number of property crimes to violent crimes in an easy to read graph. It is highly recommended that you look at some crime statistics before moving into an area; sometimes what appears to be a very pleasant neighborhood can be plagued with villains and rogues.
What is there to do? A good area to live in is one that allows you to access a wide variety of entertainment options. Theatres, malls, parks, bowling alleys, rivers or lakes, nature reserves, access to an inter-state rail, cinemas, and local poetry or music venues are all good things to look for. Of course what you’re looking for in a neighborhood will have some bearing on whether those things are pros or cons for you. Drive through the neighborhood you’re considering to see if the place you are looking at is going to be a hub of culture or more of a quiet suburbia location.
How far away are the schools? Knowing the distance from the schools is important. School bus routes usually only run for children that live a certain distance from a school. If you live closer than that distance you will need to know that and prepare yourself and your children for how they will be getting to and from school.
How nice are the neighbors? This one is not usually looked into by prospective homeowners. If you are getting serious about buying a particular home, go over and ask the neighbors about the area! Most people are more than willing to spare a moment’s time to tell you the good or bad parts of the neighborhood, and you get the added benefit of establishing yourself as a concerned and caring homeowner who will contribute to the community.
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