When you’re buying a new home, you check out its physical structure and the property it’s located on, right? But to make sure you can truly feel “at home” in a new place, you also need to scope out the neighbourhood it’s in.
Visit at different times of the day. A neighbourhood that seems pleasant during daylight hours may not be so pleasant after dark. There may be a bar or club near your potential home that is a nuisance at 2am or a train that rattles through the neighbourhood every 15 minutes. These are issues you want to know about before deciding to buy.
Meet the neighbours. When you’re looking at homes or attending open houses, strike up a conversation with people who live in the area. Ask them how long they’ve been there, what they like most about the neighbourhood and if there’s anything they don’t like.
Explore on foot. If you’re interested in a particular home, take a walk around the block. Do the other homes show pride of ownership or are there a couple of eyesores with messy yards and rundown exteriors?
Immerse yourself. Create your own picture of what daily life will be like as a homeowner in the area. Eat at local restaurants, wander through the local grocery store or attend a local place of worship.
Remember, the surrounding area is just as important as the structure and property of the home you buy.