Buying a Home? How to Scope Out the Neighborhood


When you’re checking out a home for sale, timing is crucial. Seeing the house in the right moments will tell you an incredible amount about what it would be like to live there.

Even more importantly, seeing the neighborhood at these important times helps you decide if it’s the right area for you for the long-term.

4 Ways to Check Out the Neighborhood When Buying a Home

Here’s how to test out a neighborhood and see if it’s the right fit. Scope out the scene before buying a home and make sure your investment is 100% what you want.

1. Test-Drive Your Commute

One of the most important considerations for choosing your ideal home is figuring out if your commute is doable. If your job requires a lengthy commute daily (anything over 30 minutes), this amounts to a huge chunk of your time. You don’t want to spend it hating every second.

As such, head over to your prospective home and test-drive the route you might take to work at the time you’d normally go. See how it feels and if there are any alternate routes if it’s stressful.

2. Talk to the Neighbors

If you really want to get a feel for a neighborhood, talk to the neighbors when they’re home. This means visiting on a weekend or after most people are home from work.

They can tell you whether it’s a quiet neighborhood, how friendly everybody is, and the perks of living on that street. Plus, if you push them a little, they’ll also tell you exactly what they don’t like.

This can be valuable information when you’re deciding whether you want to live there.

3. Find the Nearest School

Whether or not the home is near a school can greatly impact what it’s like to live there. For example, if a school is a few blocks away, the neighborhood probably gets busier with traffic before and after classes, when kids are getting picked up and dropped off. To see how it all plays out, visit during one of these times.

If you have kids, on the other hand, a school nearby is a great amenity in the area. Depending on your situation, you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons.

4. Visit Around a Holiday

Some neighborhoods come alive during holidays, while others stay relatively the same throughout the year. If you’re looking for a lively neighborhood holiday atmosphere, visit around major ones, like Christmas or Halloween. Are lots of houses decorated? Are community events advertised?

Buying a House Means Buying into Its Neighborhood, Too

When you purchase a new home, you’re not just getting the house. You’re also making an investment in a new life in a new area. To make sure you’re getting what you want, do some research about the neighborhood beforehand. It will have a huge effect on how life plays out after you move in.