Your Own Research

So you drove up to the house, or were driven to the house and fell in love with it. Next you made an offer and the offer was accepted. Ok, that's fine. You are now in the inspection contingency period of the process. You have a a certain number of days to do some of your own research. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Go back to the house on your own and spend some time walking around the neighborhood. If there are folks weeding their flower beds, introduce yourself, tell them that your are thinking about buying the house down the block and ask them some general questions about the neighborhood. Now comes the most important part - listen to what they have to say.You don't have to believe everything you hear but you will be surprised how much you will learn.
  2. Visit the local grocery store and see what you can learn about the area by the types of foods (or books, cloths, whatever) are available. Can you walk or take a bus to the stores?
  3. Visit the local schools, religious institutions, libraries and community centers. This will also tell you a lot about the services in your new neighborhood and about your neighbors.
  4. Spend a few hours with the folks at the local zoning and building departments. They will be able to tell you a lot about the property you are thinking of buying and about the various new projects and issues in the neighborhood. See:
  5. See what the traffic is like at the time when you need to drive to work or school. Is the property located near convenient bus routes?
  6. Go back to the neighborhood on the following Sunday and visit other open houses.

    Consider this as your opportunity to research your new neighborhood. Remember that you can make a lot of changes to the home you buy but not to the area around your home. Take your time and talk to a lots of people. You will gain invaluable information!