Buying a home can feel like the most intense research project ever. From mortgages, to contracts, to property condition issues, there’s a lot to look at. An additional area you’ll definitely want to investigate in detail: your new neighborhood. Here are five items you definitely need to know.
1. Details on Shady Dealings
Before you buy a home or move into a neighborhood, do the research and check out things like Megan’s Law databases to see where registered sex offenders live. And be sure to tap into Trulia’s Crime Maps to see detailed (and sometimes surprising!), uber-relevant crime data.
2. How Recession-Resistant It Is
Let’s face facts: some locations have fared better than others over the course of the recession. And some of the hardest hit neighborhoods are where the best deals are to be found. But know that the harder hit areas might take longer to see an uptick in home values, so you may want to stay put longer before you sell.
3. The Neighborhood’s Flavor
Is the area you’re considering a hot spot for outdoor adventures and family events at the park, or fancy restaurants and wine tastings at the museum? Find out by pulling up listings on Trulia and seeing what the folks who live there have to say.
4. Neighborhood Hot Spots
Before you buy or move into an area, equip yourself with a knowledge of where all the stores, farmer’s markets, parks, restaurants and other hot spots your family will want to use are located vis-a-vis your home-to-be. Your real estate agent can be a fabulous source for this kind of info, and check your Trulia mobile app to see any nearby haunts with Yelp! reviews.
5. The Vibe at Different Times of Day or Week
Have you ever visited a home on a Sunday afternoon when the sun was shining, birds were singing and kids were playing nearby? Then, you come back a couple of weeks later at dusk to see graffiti, or hear neighbor’s music blaring? The nature of a neighborhood can change at different times of the day and week, so check it out. And don’t be afraid to knock on neighbors’ doors, and see what insider info they can share.