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Reasons to talk to neighbors before buying a home

When it comes to buying a home, learning as much as you can about your future neighborhood is a must. Since you’ll be living in your new home for quite some time, it’s important to research well and see if the neighborhood is the right fit for you or not. There are plenty of ways to learn all about your future neighborhood, from searching online to talking to your real estate agent. Another simple way of doing so is by asking your future neighbors. This article tells you everything you need to know about reaching out to your neighbors-to-be and the best questions to ask them.

You can learn a lot about a neighborhood just by talking to the people who live there. If you’re thinking about buying a home in a certain area, your neighbors will be one of the best sources of information on the place. Their first-hand experiences will give you an idea of what to expect once you become a resident.

Why talking to your neighbor is a great idea

  1. You’ll learn tidbits about the home or neighborhood that the seller won’t tell you about.

    There’s no better way to get the inside scoop on a potential neighborhood than by talking to your neighbors. They can tell you everything there is to know about the area, from the quality of schools to the home you’re planning to move into. Small talk with the neighbors is a great home buying tip that will keep you on your toes on what to watch out for. That way, you won’t end up with buyer’s remorse.

  2. You’ll know what the best community amenities are and where to find these.

    Looking for the best schools, restaurants, parks, and establishments in a neighborhood? Ask your neighbors. Since they probably know the area inside and out, they will be more than happy to share what they know about the neighborhood and life as a local.

  3. You’ll be aware of any safety or security issues in the neighborhood.

    Talking to your neighbor also alerts you to any safety or security concerns. By asking about recent problems encountered by the community and the security systems in place, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect, security-wise.

What to ask

Asking open-ended questions is the key to learning more about a potential neighborhood. You’ll get meaningful answers that will give you more insight into the neighborhood where your potential house is in. Here are some good questions to ask:

  • What’s it like to live here?

    A great opening question, this open-ended query gives your neighbor the opportunity to share day-to-day happenings in that particular community. Positive stories are a great sign of a good neighborhood while negative stories are red flags that tell you to consider alternative locations.

    Don’t forget to ask how long they have lived in the neighborhood as well. Residents who have lived in the area for a while will have a better and more reliable gauge of the neighborhood.

  • What do you like (or not like) about the neighborhood?

    Ask your neighbor what they like or dislike about that area. This validates answers given to the first question on typical neighborhood days. If you can get assessments from not just one but from several neighborhood locals, then their different perspectives will allow you to paint a clear image in your head of what life here will be. Hope for the best that the likes outweigh the dislikes; otherwise, you’ll be better off house hunting in a different location.

  • What convinced you to move to the neighborhood?

    Is there something about the neighborhood that made your neighbor gravitate toward it? Maybe you’ll find that same pull yourself. It could be due to the location, the view, or the vibe and feel of the area – whatever this sorcery is, it’s worth knowing about so you can also manage your own expectations.

  • How is the school district?

    The school district in that area should also be taken into consideration, whether you have children or not. Buying a home in an excellent school district increases the value of your home and gives you an advantage when you decide to sell it in the future.

  • How noisy/quiet is it in the neighborhood?

    If you’re looking for peace and quiet, ask about noise levels during daytime and nighttime. Highway traffic, airport traffic, construction sites, and railway tracks are some of the common sources of noise pollution. Living in an area near an airport, for example, is not for people who need quiet and solitude to work and relax.

  • Are there any community events? How do people socialize?

    Community events are a great way for the neighborhood to interact and get acquainted with fellow neighbors. If you’re searching for events such as these, whether it’s a fun run or a weekend bazaar, a neighborhood that offers these kinds of activities will be the perfect fit for you.

  • Is there a homeowners’ association? If so, what is your assessment of it?

    Many residential communities have a homeowners’ association (HOA). People in these communities are obligated to abide by its rules and regulations. If your potential home is part of an HOA, ask your neighbor how the association manages the community and the common rules and regulations that every resident must follow.

  • What do you know about the previous owners?

    The neighbor to ask about this should be someone who has had constant interaction with the seller for a significant period of time – preferably, a next-door neighbor. They can tell you how the prospective property was maintained, why it’s being sold, and other pieces of information that may not have been included in the real estate disclosure.

Buying a home in Chicago is faster and smoother with an experienced listing agent by your side. Get in touch with 606 Brokers today by calling 773.870.5101.