You think you’ve found the house of your dreams! It’s an incredible feeling, but it will wear off the day you move in. That’s when you
notice that the paint is chipping from the outside, there is a crack in the foundation of the back yard, or your insurance rate was higher than expected. Those kinds of things are ok to notice after the fact. What you don’t want is to move in one day and get the ten o’clock express train beside your bedroom window right before bed time.
Buying a home is the one of the most important decisions you can make throughout your lifetime. Knowing more about the neighborhood you’re moving to will help you value that investment as you grow older.
Chances are that if you’re buying a home you plan to have children. It’s important to know what school system you’ll be moving into and
where you child will need to go to school. If you’re relying on public education, you should know how well rated schools are and get opinions from other parents where possible.
Try searching for the name of the school, and then adding “reviews” to the search. You might find some negative or positive reviews, as
well as advice on how to supplement your child’s education.
Are there any registered sex offenders in your area? There isn’t much you can do if there are, but knowing what is around you will help
safeguard your family. You don’t have to create a fortress of solitude to enjoy some safety in your neighborhood, but knowing information about the shady dealings of the community will help keep you astride of that behavior.
You can start by Googling your potential address to see if there are any publicly available records of incidents that might be considered criminal. For example, your house being used as a meth lab or as part of a shoot-out. Police departments across the country also maintain crime maps that could help you get a better feel for the safety of your neighborhood. Barring that, the Local Records Office may have a community profile with easy-to-review crime statistics.
Proximity to Places
Proximity to things like your job, a shopping mall, and the supermarket are good things. Proximity to an
airport or a cattle ranch might not be as desirable. Google Maps is extremely helpful for searches like this with the “Search nearby” function.
It never hurts to cruise the neighborhood one more time before you settle on what you want. Make it an excuse to invite friends and family to see the new home. Other eyes on the property may help you spot things that you could be blind to as well.
Does your cell phone get coverage? That could be a serious deal break for some home potential home buyers. If your phone does not get
reception, you can usually cancel your contract with your cell provider if they cannot come up with a solution for you, and the cancellation fee is normally waived under those circumstances.
What is there to actually do in your new location? Home is where the heart is, but adventure is found outside and settling down is the
wrong time to find out there is only one bar in town. Try going out for an evening on the town in your new area, and look for something new to try.
The quality of your town’s hospital will become more important as you age. You’ll want your kids to get good care, and you’ll need
to worry about that too as your body gets older. It’s a small concern, but the more you know about the neighborhood you’re moving too, the less unpleasant surprises may be waiting around the corner.