The location is arguably more important than the property itself. You can do up a property until it’s perfect, but you can’t change its surroundings. Getting to know the area before you buy is therefore very important. Here are some of the steps worth taking when moving to a new location.
Hire local experts
If you don’t know the area yourself, it can often be worth hiring local experts. This is where local realtors come up trumps over online real estate brokers that may cover multiple areas. There are companies such as LakeKeoweeRealEstateExpert.com who not only specialize in a certain location but a certain type of property. Such realtors may be able to find the location requirements best suited to you. It’s also worth hiring local surveyors who may know of popular building faults in the area as well as local solicitors who may be more used to the paperwork obstacles of properties in that area.
Do your research online
Sometimes a bit of online research can be useful to get a feel for the area you’re buying into. Sites such as NeighbourhoodScout.com are valuable for this purpose allowing you to looking into crime stats and public school ratings. Online research may also be required for looking into job opportunities if moving a long distance.
Knock on neighbors doors
By asking the opinions of neighbors you can get a good idea of how nice the area is to live in. If you’re only getting negative responses, this should be a good warning signal to avoid that area. It could also be beneficial to find a local bar or café and have a talk with some of the locals there. You’ll get an idea of the community and what the area has to offer.
Visit at different times of the day/week
Estate agents will choose the most favorable time to visit a property and so a single viewing may not give you the whole picture of what the area is like. Visiting at a different time of the day such as the evening may alert you of a noisy neighbor or make you realize a property is right under a flight path. You should also consider visiting at the weekend to see if an area is any busier. Even if a realtor or seller isn’t able to show you a property during this time, taking a walk around the neighborhood at this time could be beneficial.
Ask your agent the right questions
Make a list of questions to ask a realtor that are likely to be of concern to you relating to the area. If there’s only parking room on the street, do you have to pay for that parking? Where are the nearest facilities such as food shopping or schools? All this will help you to build up a bigger picture of the area before committing to a purchase. Agents should have the answers to most of the questions – if they can’t answer them, you may be better off asking a local.