You're Buying More Than Just a House

When it comes to buying a house, the house itself is not the only thing to be considered. Another important aspect to factor in is the area around the house – the neighbors and the neighborhood to be more exact. One good way to narrow down your decision is to visit the potential home at different times of the day, including night time visits. Since you won’t be going into the house, you won’t need your Realtor for an appointment – just drive to the house and neighborhood in question and without being too much of a creeper, hang out in the area to do a little observing. Here are some things to make note of:

·         How noisy is it? Do the neighbors have dogs that bark incessantly? Does someone think it’s ok to mow their grass at 9pm, or play music loudly late at night? If the answer is yes, you may want to cross this house off your list.

·         Is there something strange about the neighbors directly beside the house in question? Did you catch them walking around in the nude or do they just sit outside and glare at people? What sort of behavior can you live with?

·         Are there lots of kids running around playing? This may be a good thing if you are looking for playmates for your own kids. It could be a bad thing though if you are looking for a little more peace and quiet.

·         Check out the traffic patterns in the area. What kind of traffic comes through in the morning and at night? Is it going to make your commute to work unbearable?

·         How social is the neighborhood? Are you looking for a neighborhood with a sense of community where people walk their dogs, talk with other neighbors, or just hang out? Or, do you prefer more of a ghost town where nobody even knows what their neighbor looks like let alone talks to them? 

·         Is the neighborhood safe? You can call the local police department to get a general report for the area but it’s still a good idea to observe the neighborhood in the evening. Are there suspicious people just hanging out and up to no good?

It may not be possible to get a total picture in just a few days of observing but you might discover something you like or dislike that will tip the scales one way or another in your home buying decision.