If you are like most buyers, you have looked at 10-12 homes before making an offer and buying a home. Once you find what you believe is the “right” home, your brain kicks in with a whole new set of ideas and emotions: Fear, uncertainty, excitement, worry and the good old “What do I do now?”
Before making an offer, you have probably conducted some research, including neighborhood demographics. You need to know about schools, crime rates, local shopping, you name it. You have Googled your town, neighborhood, demographics, and maybe even your real estate agent’s name to see if they ever got in trouble. I have a better suggestion. Talk to the neighbors. As many as you can. You’re going to be living next to them, you might as well know who they are. Are they friendly? Do they like the neighborhood? What do they say? What does their body language tell you? How do they describe the street, neighborhood, town or schools?
Go there on the weekend, during the day, and talk with as many neighbors as possible. If you are buying new construction, this is a must. Ask them questions about the builder. What did you like, not like, how long were you delayed, if at all– all great questions to ask recent home buyers. Listen carefully. Trust your instincts.
The internet may give you data, the neighbors give you reality.