The House Hunter’s Guide to Finding a Good Neighborhood

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You’re finally ready to buy a house – congratulations! Your head is most likely swimming with all the steps to buy a house – but are you thinking of the neighborhood?


Choosing the right neighborhood is just as important as choosing a house itself. You want to feel comfortable with your immediate area, and take advantage of any conveniences it may offer.


There are several things you can do to vet neighborhoods as you look for your dream home.

Test Run Your Daily Commute

Oftentimes proximity to work is a large factor in where you look for a home. To know if this will work for you, hop in the car and take your typical commute to work from your potential neighborhood at the same time of day you normally would.


Take notice of traffic patterns. Are there places of convenience to stop to and from work, such as a place to grab groceries or a bite to eat?


If the commute isn’t ideal, is there public transportation available that may be a better fit and not break the bank?

Research Property Value Trends

Home prices in a neighborhood are indicative of the type of neighborhood you’re getting into. Research to see if they are increasing, decreasing, or staying the same.

Take Note of For Sale Signs

Are there a lot of homes for sale in this particular neighborhood? Ask yourself why and seek to find an answer.


If many people are leaving at one time there has to be a reason – and it might not be a good one.

Evaluate Cost of Living Factors

What are the taxes and utility prices like in the area? Take a stroll through the nearest grocery store to determine what food costs will be, and notice the price of gas as you drive by local stations.


These are all costs to factor into your overall budget.

Prioritize Safety

Safety is part of what makes a house a home, so you want to do your research on crime rates in the area.


You can do a general internet search and look at local news, but also consider using aggregate crime data sites like CityProtect and NeighborhoodScout to gather information.

Look at the Topography

The physical characteristics of your new neighborhood can have a huge impact. If you have stunning views of bodies of water or mountains, you may be looking at a higher price for the privilege.


Research if the land of the neighborhood is prone to flooding, ice, or natural disasters. Consider what traveling the local streets might be like during such events.

Talk to Neighbors

Take a stroll around your potential new neighborhood and see who you might find that’s willing to have a chat. If you have kids, swing by a local park and talk to other parents. Grab a coffee at a corner shop and see what the locals are like.


No one knows an area better than those who are actively living in it. You can get the scoop on the goings-on in the neighborhood, and also see just how friendly (or not!) your potential neighbors are.


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