Choosing a Neighborhood

You may think you’ve found the perfect neighborhood, but before you buy chat up the neighbors and have a discussion with your Realtor to determine if the neighborhood is as inviting as it appears.

Here are 20 questions to ask:

  1. Where is the closest grocery store?
  2. What the best restaurants and entertainment options nearby?
  3. Are there doctors and dentists offices in the area?
  4. Where is the closest hospital?
  5. What is the school district like?
  6. Are there families in the area?
  7. Any holiday events or special traditions like an annual block party?
  8. Is the area quiet late at night?
  9. Are there any neighborhood nuisances like big trucks, ongoing construction or highway noise?
  10. Any reported crimes in the past year?
  11. How walkable is the neighborhood?
  12. How bikable is the neighborhood?
  13. Is there public transportation nearby?
  14. Is street parking allowed?
  15. Do properties in the area need any special insurance?
  16. Do any homes in the area carry historic designations?
  17. Does the community have a homeowner’s association?
  18. Who supplies electric, water and cable to the area?
  19. What are the property tax rates for homes in the neighborhood?
  20. What are the traffic patterns like?

Legally, your agent will not be able to provide you with answers to some of these questions, particularly when it comes to crime rates and schools, but that information can always be found online. Overall, driving through the neighborhood after work or on a weekend can prove fruitful because neighbors are usually out, working in the yard or in the garage, and are often happy to answer questions about the neighborhood they love.