How to Check Out a Neighborhood

Mike Capelle, Broker/OwnerMike Capelle, Broker/Owner

It is just as important to your future happiness to check out your potential new neighborhood as investigating the house you are considering purchasing. Neighbors can affect your well-being and the value of your new home.

Here are several ways to check out a neighborhood before you buy into it:

1. Stop and talk to any neighbors that are out and about. What do they like? What do they dislike? How is the security? Any particular issues? Any big changes on the horizon?

2. Visit at different times of the day and week. Get a feel for the neighborhood by visiting at different times of the day and night, weekdays and weekends.

3. Do Google Searches on the street address, area/neighborhood name, and community/city. They might turn up news stories of interest or other information related to the neighborhood.

4. Search the police or sheriff logs for the street names in the area. The logs are public record and may well be online.

5. Google Map the street address and take a virtual tour. The Street View may reveal a change from old photos.

6. Check out the sex offender registry for the applicable state. You can start at the nsopr.gov, the National Sex Offender Public Website.

7. Visit the local police or sheriff department’s Web site to learn about crime statistics.

The more you know about the neighborhood you are considering, the better the choice you can make about making a home purchase there.

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