Questions to Ask Neighbors Before Buying

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Finding the Right Home in the Right Neighborhood 

It's no secret that one of the most important aspects of buying a home is location, location, location. This is most obviously attributed to the fact that location is the most inflexible factor when it comes to your home. At the end of the day, you could love everything about the home, but if you don't where the home is located then it's unfortunately not the right fit. 

As a prospective homeowner, you'll want to undergo the task of researching which neighborhood is the best fit for you and your family. As you begin to narrow down your search for the ideal neighborhood and begin looking at homes, consider asking neighbors of your potential new home some important questions. This may sound like a bit of an awkward situation, but this ground roots tactic of research will give you the insider perspective you need before buying. Take a look at these 5 insightful questions that will help you determine if you've found the right home in the right neighborhood. 

Important Questions to Ask Neighbors Before Buying 

“How would you describe the area, and what’s it like living here?”

Most neighbors are friendly and interested in talking to prospective buyers about their neighborhood. Start the conversation with a simple open-ended question that gets the conversation flowing and give you a good gauge on whether or not your prospective neighbor likes where they live. Most of the time, the answer to this question will go one of two ways. Either they love it or they don't. Based on the response, you will probably be able to gauge if it’s worth moving forward with an offer or not. But don’t just ask this question to one neighbor as personal relations and perspectives can differ. Ask around to get a feel for the overall response and vibe from the people you could be living near. 

“If you could change anything about the neighborhood, what would you change?”

A great follow-up to the first question should you get an overwhelmingly positive initial response. This will easily allow for potential drawbacks to emerge without seeming too pushy. For instance, you may learn that the neighborhood has limited parking, a lot of young children, barking dogs or other things you might want to steer clear of. However, some things that might bother others, might not bother you at all. Either way, it’s good to have an idea of both the pros and cons of the area. 

“What are the schools within this neighborhood like?”

Whether you have kids or not, school districts matter. Living in an area that has highly rated schools usually translates into higher property values because families with children want to be in that district. While much of this information can be found out online, it never hurts to have a second opinion from an experienced source. 

“What's the socialization like within the neighborhood?”

Maybe you’re looking to live in a social community or maybe your prefer your privacy. Either way, you’ll want to ask this question to find out what the social life of your neighbors is like. Whether you’re looking to make new friends, or prefer peace and quiet, finding out if you’re a good fit for the neighborhood on a social level is a good thing to know before move-in day.

“Is there anything I should know about this property?”

Although sellers are legally required to disclose certain information on the home, neighbors love to talk. So, if the home you’re considering has run into some problems then the only people who will know and openly speak on it will be the neighbors. This is another question you may want to seek a second opinion on as neighbors can be chatty and you might not hear the whole truth from one source. Take this information with a grain of salt and should you have any concerns, take it up with the homeowners or your real estate agent before making your final decision.

Buying a Home in Orange County 

If your house hunt is already in progress, it's not too late to start using this tactic to gain some more information on the potential homes you're interested in. Next time you set aside time for an open house, make sure to leave some time to chat with the neighbors to get a complete perspective on the home and neighborhood you’re considering moving to. If you're just beginning your search for a new home, don't limit your house hunt to online home listing websites such as Zillow or RedFin. Instead, invest in finding a local real estate agent who can help guide you through the process. Having an experienced local realtor on your side gives you exclusive access to all the listings that become available in your desired neighborhoods. as they become available. Don't risk the chance of missing out on your dream home simply because it wasn't listed on the internet. With more than 18 years of real estate experience in Ladera Ranch and Orange County, I can help you find the right home in the right neighborhood at the right price. Call me today at  949-285-3215 for more information. 

Photo Source: Active Listing - 1 Grevillea Court, Ladera Ranch, CA 92694


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