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Choosing the Neighborhood

Sometimes when considering buying a new home people forget to look over the fence, or knock on the door that is next to them, and ask questions about the neighborhood.

If buying into a complex or townhouse development such questions could be about noise level, traffic, children, or noise through shared walls. You could ask about the heating, access to the pool or gym, public transport availability and proximity to services. Most people are only to willing to share their local knowledge. After all you could be their neighbor and friend. This also gives you the chance to eveluate them before you sign up for that mortgage.

If buying in a traditional style street, by asking your possible future neighbour about schools, hospitals right down to safety issues in the area you'll gain valuable insight into your prospective purchase. Also you might get an idea of what's a fair price for the house you are looking at. Most people are very curious about the asking price of a house in their neighborhood. It gives them an idea of the value of their own place, and they usually are only too willing to tell you what other houses in the street sold for. They'll also know things like if the previous owner seemed to always be having trouble with the drains or flooding in the basement etc.

The key is to ask, it may save you from a costly mistake or at least assure you of a sound purchase.

There are many things that make up a good neighborhood. Safety is paramount for you and your family. You don't want to feel scared or intimidated whenever you come home. Or so scared of losing your possessions you are afraid to leave for the weekend. A good neighborhood offers proximity to parks and schools, health care facilities and convenient shopping. To some, closeness to places of worship are just as important as closeness to the beach are for others. Of course it's not always possible to have everything. Budget can play a huge role in deciding where you purchase, so it's matter of prioritizing and discussion with your loved ones. Some people like to live in an old area with historic homes. They love the feeling of its history, to restore one of these homes with respect to their creator is a true privilege. To hastily renovate with an eye on profit is a sad indication of some peoples greed and ignorance of what is in their care.

People are very diverse in what makes them choose one town over another, one house over another. But we all share the common need of shelter, safety and home. The feeling of belonging somewhere. It keeps us happy and healthy. It gives us a place to say where we are from and helps to identify us. By this it also helps us to know where we are going.

So you have done the leg work, you've had so many meetings with estate agents you've realised that by keeping your mouth shut they'll fill in the gaps and give you an insight into whether they are genuine in their opinions or just another salesmen fond of their own blabber. You have decided on a property or at least narrowed it down to an area. Make sure you visit it at peak traffic times as well as the weekend. Take note of the sun and what rooms it beams into. Depending on what region you are in the sun can be a great warming friend or an arch enemy at different times of the day. Look to see if the children are playing outside, this is an indicator of how safe the area is. If there is a restaurant,fast food place or shops nearby, check to see if the smells are going to upset you. Where are their trash bins located? Or it might also worry you if unknown cars are parked in front of your house every night. Is there too much air traffic with all its noise and kerosene spray. If there is a park nearby, this may be great in the daylight but after hours it may prove something else. Public utilities especially can be very troubling.

A home is not just the structure, you are buying into a community.

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