You’re not just buying a house, you’re also buying a neighborhood. And opinions on specific neighborhoods vary as much as the residents themselves. Here are five things to consider when choosing a neighborhood to live in:
1. Visit the neighborhood during different times of the day and week. It may seem perfectly quiet and safe in the middle of the day, but a little sketchy at night. Consider lighting, safety and security and traffic when making multiple visits.
2. Consider other cost factors. Homes in certain neighborhoods can be pricier than others, but these aren’t the only expenses to consider. Are there homeowners’ association fees? Will your commuting costs rise? Is there an annual assessment imposed by the condo association?
3. Talk to current residents about their experiences in the neighborhood. Ask your prospective neighbors to speak to you candidly about neighborhood safety, noise, schools, traffic, commuting times and other factors that are of importance to you.
4. Do additional research on the neighborhood by contacting the local police department for local crime stats, neighborhood block watch group or visit NeighborhoodScout.com for another viewpoint.
5. Visit NabeWise.com to identify “quality of life” characteristics of your desired neighborhood. While the site’s information is limited, it does address the Seattle area.
Have other suggestions? I’d love to share them with my readers. Please post a comment here!
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