When you buy a home, you’re getting more than just the structure of the house — you’re getting the neighborhood, too. We recommend visiting the new area multiple times at different times of the day to get a feel for it, since that may determine your family’s experience while living there. A great house might not be as enjoyable if the surrounding community isn’t a good fit. To help out with your neighborhood evaluation, use this checklist of important items to look out for.
Sidewalks – The presence of sidewalks may indicate that the neighborhood is an active one. It may also be safer for those with children, since drivers and pedestrians won’t be sharing the same space.
Parks – A nearby park might be beneficial for you and your family to get some exercise while meeting new people.
Schools – Check to see how far away the schools are, and how your children would be getting there. This may not be as important for homeowners who don’t have children.
Major Roads – Drive around to locate the closest major highways. If big roads are close, they may increase noise level around your home or become a security concern for those with small children and pets.
Transportation – Depending on the area, you might not always depend on a car to get around. Explore the local public transportation options to see what works for you.
Shopping Centers – Figure out how close you are to shopping centers so you can estimate how long it will take to run errands on a typical day.
Restaurants – If your family likes to dine out, check out the food scene near your house to see if you’ll enjoy frequenting those restaurants.
Recreational Centers – Whatever you and your family do for fun, make sure there’s something within a reasonable distance. Think fitness centers, pools, dance or martial arts studios, painting classes, or anything else that could entertain you and your family.