When you are buying a house, there is a lot you can easily see. You can see if you are in a family-friendly neighborhood, or one that fits your lifestyle. You can check out the amenities within walking and driving distance. You can figure out what the house has that you love and the size of your lot. The only thing you can’t really know about your new home is what your neighbors will be like. Unfortunately, a neighbor can make or break your living situation. In some cases, you’ll get neighbors you’ll love, who will be your lifelong friends. In other cases, you’ll be civil with your neighbor and know that you can count on them if you need to. But, in the most extreme cases, your neighbors could be people you’d rather not associate with, never mind see them daily out on the sidewalk. How do you figure out how to pick a house with great neighbors?
Check out their properties
One way to know how your potential neighbors live is to take a look at their property, either from the front or through the windows when you have a viewing. Is their yard a mess? Do you see evidence of nights of partying? Do they collect a lot of junk and leave it in undesirable spots? Is their grass cut and their gardens taken care of? Is there evidence of pets that aren’t taken care of? Having great neighbors means that you want people who care about their home, their property and about their neighbors. If they don’t respect their own property, they may not respect yours.
A seemingly safe-looking neighborhood could be anything but. Use online tools like FamilyWatchdog or NeighborhoodScout to find out about crime statistics, sex offenders and other important information before moving your children into a place you’d rather they not be.
Talk to them
One of the best ways you can determine what someone is like is to actually talk to them. Drive by your potential home in the evenings when people may be convening outside. Have a chat with the neighbors to find out if they are friendly and welcoming. While first impressions aren’t everything, you’ll know if they aren’t friendly pretty easily with this approach.
Look at the parking situation
Drive by the home on a Saturday night and see if there are cars lined up the street. This is a good indicator that the neighborhood could be ripe with parties.
Find out about community events
If you are looking for a friendly and social community, the amount of neighborhood events might lead you to believe your community cares about where they live. If you can find out about local garage sales, community BBQs, fundraisers and a neighborhood watch, it may reassure you that you are buying in a nice community.
If you need any help finding the right community for you, with great neighbors, talk to me!