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How to Study a Neighborhood Before Moving In

January 17, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

You’ve probably heard the saying that you should drive your neighborhood a few times before you consider buying a home there. That’s probably pretty good advice, but what should you look for? There are obvious elements, like people causing trouble or loud music in the neighborhood, but what about less obvious things? How can you tell what neighbors are like, what your commute will be, how schools function or where the sun rises and sets in relation to your home? These aren’t easy questions to answer. They require multiple drive-bys with a keen eye for what you’re looking for.


Meeting the Neighbors

Notice we didn’t say “judging” the neighbors. You should try to drive by the neighborhood and introduce yourself to some of the people already living there. Ask them how long they’ve been living in your prospective area, what they think about it, and any information they have about other neighbors around the block. Be careful to avoid neighborhood politics during these early discussions, keep things friendly.


Scout the neighborhood, and the surrounding community. Are there any parks within walking distance? Having one close by is a wonderful outlet for relaxation on weekends. What about supermarkets and chain stores you’re used to? If you’re crossing state lines, make sure the brands you know and love are still available to you. Also, spend an evening in the surrounding area. Take your spouse to dinner and get to know the area. Once you know what’s around your home, you can make a better decision regarding whether it’s a place you’d ever want to live.

Drive Your Commute

It’s a hassle, but you ought to commute to your new neighborhood and drive that route to your job. If you can, do it more than once so you get a feel for what traffic is like throughout the day. You might find that owning a home closer to work can be a hassle if you live in a major city. Lack of parking, backed up streets and other elements might make it easier just to walk to work. If you don’t evaluate, you’ll never know.

What About Schools?

There are plenty of resources online where you can explore the school system in your new neighborhood, and you can gather quite a bit of information too. You can learn teacher names, get school ratings from parents and faculty, and find out which districts and schools your child is eligible to attend.
Realty ONE Group was founded in 2005 by Kuba Jewgieniew, and is focused on helping clients find the home of their dreams.