Experienced home buyers have a clear list of features that are non-negotiable in their prospective properties. Everything is carefully assessed and estimated, from the simple need for an interior style update to more extensive renovation projects. As every home buyer is different, it’s fair to say that there is a property for everyone, including houses in dire need of improvements.
However, many potential buyers fail to consider the local community as part of their research. Indeed, while proximity to the local school or shops is a point of interest, many don’t get a full understanding of how the neighborhood until after the purchase. Your local community acts as an extension of your friends and family. Ideally, you want to establish a close bond with your neighbors, because they are the people who are most likely going to help you out of a spot of trouble. Indeed, neighbors can help to keep the community safe and structured. They can also turn your street into a living nightmare, forcing you to sell and move out if you don’t get along. As a result, you need to figure out early if you can trust your future neighbors.
Have a chat with the neighbors
You need to get to know the locals at the time you visit the property. Why not arrive a little earlier and talk with your future neighbors? Make some time to communicate and find out as much as possible about the area. You might discover that you’ve got a lot in common, for a start! More importantly, it can give you some insights into the local community. You may not hear only positive news about the neighborhood, but it’s an excellent place to start. After all, the property is part of a community; you can’t buy without knowing what you agree to become part of.
Is it a kid-friendly area?
Typically, families are looking for neighborhoods that already have children. Indeed, you’re more likely to find supportive neighbors who aren’t going to complain about a crying baby in the middle of the night in a community that embraces children. Make sure to look at the front yards in the neighborhood. The presence of toys or even adjustable driveway hoop constructions for basketball games is a clear indication for your neighbors have kids. You can also explore the area to find if there is a secure playground in the vicinity of your home. Families tend to be more welcoming, as kids are quick to establish a connection and play together. Moving in a community that has a lot of children in a similar age group can also help to make the move less daunting for your kids.
Do people care about their homes?
You’ve read about the importance of a property curb appeal. But what you may not realize is that you shouldn’t focus your attention on the house you’re going to buy only. Indeed, ideally, you want to live in a community where neighbors are proud of their homes. It’s a sure sign of wealth and safety. Bright and colorful entryways are not only a pleasure for the eye. They are a testimony of your neighbors’ dedication to the community. Do take the time to appreciate their efforts in maintaining their houses. Front yard gardens say a lot about your neighbors!
Are cars parked in the street?
It’s a good idea to visit the community at different days of the day to observe the local routines. For instance, when cars are parked on the driveways or the road, it’s a clear sign that inhabitants feel their vehicles are safe at night. Similarly, the presence of gates and fences is unavoidable. However, the choice of barriers and protection can reveal a lot about the homeowners’ intentions. A small gate and fence combination is only designed to frame the garden and separate properties. However, a large gate and high fence could indicate that the area is a potential target for burglars and criminals.
People interact with each other
Last but not least, you need to understand how neighbors interact with each other. You’ll find it helpful to spend some time visiting the area. Head to the dog park, for example, to watch how and if neighbors engage. You might find that some people greet fellow dog owners and pets. Or perhaps neighbors organize the school run every day? Keep your eyes open for little gestures that show that people look after each other.
Moving into a new house is a stressful and emotional journey. But, as a home buyer, you can protect yourself against bad surprises. Indeed, you can get to know your neighborhood before making an offer on the house. Finding a community that is welcoming and feels right for you can take some time. But it’s an essential part of your journey as a homeowner!