Meet the Neighbors: Why You Should Look Beyond Square Footage When Choosing a Home

By Keith Loria

Searching for your dream home can be a daunting task, however, it’s important to take your time and do some homework before you even consider making an offer. Today, finding a new place to call home goes way beyond square footage, number of bedrooms and whether the home is located in a good school district. In fact, one thing many buyers often overlook is the need to scope out the neighborhood—and even the potential neighbors.

Many agents suggest walking around the block of a home you may be interested in buying to see if there’s a fit. If there are people outside, you may want to stop and say hello and ask them about their thoughts on the neighborhood.

Walking around a neighborhood and talking to neighbors will give you a good idea as to the area and what people love most about calling it home. It will also help you figure out whether people of similar age live in the area, which is great information to know before you make an offer on a home.

If you’re really interested in getting to know the neighborhood—and the neighbors—before you make an offer on a home, don’t be afraid to knock on a few doors and ask a few questions. Tell any current homeowners that you’re considering moving in and want to get a feel for what the neighborhood’s like. Be sure to ask about crime, emergency response, traffic, noise and anything else that would matter to you.

When scoping out the neighborhood, be on the lookout for swing sets or basketball hoops, especially if you have children of your own. These items are a sure sign that the neighborhood is full of other children for yours to play with.

In addition to learning about who lives in the neighborhood, you may also want to find out if there are any block parties, a neighborhood watch or any other social gatherings that everyone takes part in. It never hurts to have this information at your disposal to help you make a decision.

You’ll also want to learn about the best restaurants, churches, schools and shops in the area. Most people you talk to will be happy to share their favorite establishments.

Be sure to talk to as many people in the area as you can, and don’t be afraid to ask your REALTOR® questions about people living nearby.

You may be surprised how much you can find out from simply walking through a neighborhood. If you don’t like the information that you’re gathering, it could help you from making the mistake of buying a home in a neighborhood where you won’t be happy.

For more information about choosing the neighborhood that’s right for you, contact our office today.