It may not be difficult to buy a perfect house in a great location at a reasonable price, but how does the neighborhood look like? How much do you know about the house you intend to invest in and the current owner in particular? What are the major challenges to people living around the area? Spokespeople say some of those doubts about the neighborhood can easily be spotted by talking to neighbors? But, is that the only reason Why Should You Talk to Neighbors Before Buying A House?
This entire guide will help you to understand the reasons you should talk to neighbors before buying a house.
Should You Talk To Neighbors Before Buying a House?
It is very important to make necessary inquiries not only about the house you are planning to buy but also about the neighborhood. Therefore, talking to a few neighbors to know more about the house, the neighborhood, and the people living around there will greatly help you in your decision.
The neighbors should know more about the house you have in mind to buy and can be able to give you some necessary information. It’s quite possible that your neighbors may be aware of a leaking roof which you have not yet noticed.
There could also be some vital information that your real estate agent may not know or is not allowed to disclose legally, but you could have the picture from other people such as the neighbors. The unvarnished truth you get from neighbors and some other things you hear from other people might cause you to change your mind on what you once thought was a perfect decision.
Questions To Ask Neighbors Before Buying a House
When you see a house that has been placed for sale, and you know it’s within your price range, pass from your due diligence checks, then visit the neighborhood to check the conditions of traffic and noise levels at different times for some days, to see if you and your family you’re your tenants) will be comfortable staying outdoors.
Meet people in the neighborhood, introduce yourself, and tell them that you are considering buying the house in the neighborhood and ask if they would mind providing you with less information. This may feel intimidating or awkward, but surprisingly people often respond.
How do you feel about living in this neighborhood?
This normally follows the usual question “How long have you been living here? With this question and more, the neighbors can share with you anything they may want without restriction-particularly about what the hate and love most about the neighborhood.
Their response and answers can provide reasonable information and help you understand their lifestyle in the neighborhood.
If the information given to you is more of a positive reason than the negative about the area, it can be an indication that your choice is great.
If you have the power to change anything about this neighborhood, what would that be?
This follow-up question is expected to expose certain things, especially those things that the residents hate about the area. The neighbors can provide you with any inconvenience or common concerns that might affect you also as a potential resident or homeowner in that area.
What is the level of security in the area?
Perhaps you may have checked out the rate of crime in the area when searching for your dream home (or next investment
property) from safety resources or the local police department. Nevertheless, those resources may not tell you the actual situation of that neighborhood. It is the resident that will provide you with a clearer picture of what is going on, and if there is any security measure you need to take immediately as you settle down.
Ask about what actually happens in the area and if there are fresh issues with vandalism, loitering, frequent fights, or episodes of stray dogs in the street. Also, inquire to know if there are installed security systems in their homes. This will give you the idea of whether you will need to install yours too.
Try to find out how the residents respond to crime, whether they have area security. This may help you to know if it is safe to come back late at night or allow your children to freely play outside. These details can actually help you to prepare yourself to be able to have a peaceful life in that area.
Tip: Consider these things before fencing.
How do people socialize in the neighborhood?
Asking how neighbors socialize will let you know if you can perfectly fit in the neighborhood. Some residents like socializing and having close relationships with other neighbors, while others would prefer privacy.
In some neighborhoods, ball games and block parties in the street are regarded as fun bonding activities. So if these activities look like a disturbance to you, you might need to consider looking for another house elsewhere.
How is the commute condition around the area?
You may have already driven to certain places that you may likely visit often such as schools, cinemas, nearby restaurants, crimes, and the grocery store, etc. However, inquiring from the neighbors what the traffic looks like during rush hour can also provide you with more insight into the daily road condition.
Also, you need to be aware of the available transportation options in the area, if there is a dependable public transport; whether there are sufficient parking spaces; the road situation during certain seasons, any profitable information that will enable you to determine the time it might take you to get around from and to your home.
Is the neighborhood child-friendly?
Even if you are still young in marriage without children yet or still single, you should consider schools when buying a house. That’s because houses that are located near good school districts normally translate into higher values with mega resale potential.
If you have a family with young children, there is also a need that your children grow in a good and safe environment. Therefore, getting to hear from the neighbors whose children attend local schools can be more profitable. Also, you can find out if there are individualized education programs or good after school programs available for children.
Is there anything you have to tell me about this house?
After asking important questions about the neighborhood, you can also seek some information about the house you are intending to buy. Some neighbors can be willing to tell you more about the particular house, especially confidential things that were not added in the disclosure. It is very important to know whether the house you are considering has some issues that the seller did not inform you, such as the risk of flood or storm, or high water table. Neighbors may also share with you the most appealing characteristic of the house and the reasons the house is on sale.
Nevertheless, there are always possibilities that the neighbor’s personal relationship with the seller can affect their response when you tell them the particular house you are considering. But people still have their different opinions, so, it is necessary you speak with different people and ask them the same questions so that you will be able to get a clearer picture.
Tip: Did you know some people regret buying a house. This video explains why.
Why is Neighborhood Important in Buying a House?
People often make a decision based on the house itself instead of the neighborhood, which is a big mistake. What makes the neighborhood so special in buying a house?
The price and condition of any house can be changed. Even the size of the house can be changed, but the only thing that cannot be changed in the neighborhood in which the house is located.
Here are a few things you should consider when considering a good location to buy a house.
The neighborhood is so important because you cannot change it, so also is school.
Are there plans to build new schools in that environment? Are there well-rated schools there? These are the questions that should be running through your mind because many people may not want to buy a house in a neighborhood when schools are rated low. Good schools will not only give you the opportunity to provide better education for your children, but it will also make the value of your house to appreciate as it might be expected.
Many home buyers always consider easy transportation to work, whether it is public transportation, biking, driving a car, or even walking, the commute time is a major factor to consider when choosing a neighborhood.
Time is valued more in the world, this is the reason people pay in order to save time. Nobody wants to spend much time driving to work. And this is the main reason the locations that are closer to the train stops, bus stops, highways, and other transportation means appreciate faster than locations farther.
Generally, people like the idea of walking to their places of work, to the grocery, restaurants, or other local amenities. Looking for the best neighborhood for easy transportation? Look for areas near public transportation or major highway.
Restaurants, grocery stores, entertainment shopping are some of the major amenities people consider when buying a house. That adds a lifestyle.
Usually, buyers always want these amenities to be within a 5 to 10 minutes drive away from their home. If the house you are considering is located in a neighborhood that has these basic amenities close by, that is a positive sign, and it will also help to raise the value of your house.
Some house buyers even make some amenities as a requirement in their house search. For certain buyers, grocery stores must be within 10 to 15 minutes away from the house, or they will not consider it.
Advantages of Talking With Neighbors Before Buying a House
There are a lot of benefits of talking with neighbors before buying a house. If you are considering buying a house in a certain neighborhood, neighbors are one of the best ways to get beneficial information on the area. They can give you all you need to know about the neighborhood when you talk to them.
You will know more about the neighborhood and the house which the seller would not want to tell you.
Talking with neighbors is a good house buying tip which will equip you with what to expect the one you become a resident.
They can give you all the information you need to have about the neighborhood, from the house you are planning to buy to the quality of schools. That way, you will not regret buying the house.
They will help you to know the best amenities in the neighborhood and their locations.
Searching for the best restaurants, schools, establishments, and parks in a neighborhood? Talk with neighbors. Since they already know the area so well, they will be so happy to tell you all they know about life in that neighborhood as a local.
You will know any security or safety problems in the neighborhood.
Speaking with neighbors alerts you to any security or safety concerns in the neighborhood. By asking about the neighborhood watch in place and recent issues that happened in the area, you will have a clear picture of what to expect in the aspect of security.
Disadvantages of Talking to Neighbors Before Buying a House
While there are many benefits of talking to neighbors before buying a house, there are also a few disadvantages.
- Sometimes some neighbors try to discourage potential buyers from buying a particular house in their neighborhood by feeding them with negative information about the house because they are also interested in buying that same house.
- Some neighbors also act out of spite, and it can be a very big obstacle for potential buyers, as they may be discouraged and would make them change their minds.
- Some neighbors may have just relocated without having proper or adequate information about the neighborhood or the house you are intending to buy. Therefore, such neighbors my not dish out the right picture or idea about the area. Such neighbor may also not offer you the whole truth about the house you are intending to buy as they may try to help their friend to sell the house.
In addition, talking with this kind of neighbor may cause you to regret buying the house after you have settled down.
- You may be so unfortunate to talk with a nitpicker (someone who finds fault with anything) as a neighbor. Such a person will not tell you anything good about the neighborhood and the residents. He will make sure he discourages you from going ahead with your plan and even seeking other neighbors’ ideas by telling you how wicked everybody in the neighborhood is.
- This can be detrimental to potential home buyers that can make them reconsider going ahead with their decisions.
Tip: The below video explains how real estate agents use ‘neighbor letters’ increase neighbor interest in a property.
Talking to neighbors can help you get helpful information about the house and neighborhood you are considering. It can help you to avoid making some terrible buying errors and settling down in a neighborhood where you will not be happy for a longer period of time.
In view of this, make inquiries and seek possible information about the said area before making any move to settle down.
Tip: This what we think about Property Options.