Homebuyers today are by no means inattentive to the minor details of a prospective house, inspecting every possible imperfection that could be hidden from view. When it comes to examining the surrounding neighborhood, however, they are often very negligent to potential dangers or annoyances. When searching for a home, don’t pass off details about the neighborhood as secondary information. You should know what to look out for in a neighborhood so that you don’t make the mistake of purchasing a nice house in a nightmarish community.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do when researching a neighborhood is to conduct a criminal search. Search for any listed nearby sex offenders on NSOPW.gov, the National Sex Offender Public Website. Also, be sure to do a background check on crime in the area, no matter how innocent the neighborhood seems. CrimeMapping.com is a useful site for this purpose, as it lists crimes that have occurred in most large and mid-sized cities.
In order to make an accurate judgment on a neighborhood, it’s essential that you make visits during different times of day. Most prospective home visits are held during the day, leaving visitors oblivious to possible deal-breakers like noisy neighbors or loud trains passing by at night. To get an idea of what a neighborhood is really like, take an observational walk on a Saturday night.
If you have kids or are planning soon, you should look into the area’s school district. While your real estate agent might be hesitant to reveal much about the area’s schools if they are below par, you can take this research into your hands by conducting a search for your child’s potential school on NCES.ed.gov, the National Center for Education Statistics website. Pay attention to revealing statistics like student-teacher ratios, average class size, and the school budget.