When you are considering purchasing a home in an unfamiliar location, you may be nervous about relocating to an area you have never heard about. There are ways you can gain more information and become comfortable with your decision.
Scope Out The Area
Reading about a neighborhood can be vastly different than living in the same area. Before you make your decision, spend some time viewing the area on your own or recruit trusted friends to help. Drive around the neighborhood during the daylight hours and to gain a sense of the area. Ideally, you should visit when people are most active, such as the afternoon or weekends when the children are home from school and homeowners may be off from work. You should also visit the neighborhood at night during the week and on a weekend. You may not like an area where people hang out on street corners at night. Of course, a single instance does not dictate the ambiance of the neighborhood, so you should take multiple trips to the area to gain a better assessment.
Many people enjoy the idea of living away from the lights and sounds of the city, but you may find the house of your dreams is unrealistically far away. If a home you are considering would require you to drive many miles most days in dense traffic for work, you may change your mind. You should also consider how far away you are from area schools if you have children. Although your children may take the bus to school, there will be instances where they will miss the bus. Not being able to drive your child to school and make it back to work in a reasonable time span could have detrimental effects on your job. The proximity of retailers is also an important factor when choosing a home. Using a tank of gas just to purchase groceries can become an unreasonable financial burden.
Take a creative approach to find out more about the neighborhood and surrounding areas. Try asking homeowners in the area to fill out a survey. On your next trip to view the home, leave a business card or note in a few mailboxes with a link to an anonymous survey and your contact information. You should explain you are interested in a specific home nearby and want to know more about the neighborhood before making a decision. If building strong relationships with your neighbors is important, you may find it off-putting if you receive little or no feedback. Since your survey is anonymous, you are more likely to receive honest feedback. If homeowners are willing to call or email you and talk about their experience, you may feel like the neighborhood is more welcoming.
Purchasing a home in an unfamiliar neighborhood can make you apprehensive, but you may be missing out on a wonderful place to live. By doing the legwork and finding out more about the area, you can be confident in your decision.