This is an article submitted by a guest author. Not all views expressed are those of AmeriFirst Home Mortgage or its employees.
Whether you are looking for a new home for you and your family or for an investment, it's important to research the neighborhood you are considering. You want to know the neighborhood you are considering is safe and has an excellent school system, library, park, dining, shopping, and medical facility. Finding these facts takes time and research, but in the end it is well worth the effort.
Take A Night Visit
Most visits to real estate offerings are during the day. Taking a ride around the neighborhood in the evening will show you the type of activities that go on after dark. Are there groups of teens walking around? Is there loud music or other noisy activities taking place? Do you see good lighting around the neighborhood? Would you feel safe walking outside at night? These are all important questions, and only a night visit will provide the answers.
Ways To Assess A Neighborhood
The Internet allows access to a great deal of information. Check out the local newspaper online as well as picking up a printed copy. If they have a Facebook or other social media page, spend a little time browsing it. You can get a feel of the neighborhood by the comments people make. Police and sheriff departments use social media too, and you should check those sites as well. Visit the schools in person and ask questions about the curriculum, sports programs, special education classes, and other items of interest to you. Take a daytime walk through the neighborhood, and talk to any people you see outside in their yards. Use your intuition to judge whether or not they want to chat.
Crime And Sexual Offenders
The crime rate in an area is important to know if you are considering a home purchase. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) provides a page with statistics on 29 different criminal offenses including homicide, other violent crimes, and property theft. Car break-ins are a specific area of concern in some neighborhoods, and you can get that information from the local police department. Also, check the number of local drug arrests. The National Sex Offender registry informs visitors of any sex offenders living in the area of interest. This information is important to families with children and anyone who might be out at night.
Making Your Decision
Once you have decided you like the neighborhood and are ready to make a home purchase, be sure you are happy with the financing options that are available. The Internet has made it possible to find a variety of mortgage options online. More and more home buyers and investors are realizing there are excellent loan opportunities with online banks, and you can access a great post to read on this topic. There are more mortgage options available than ever before, so shop around before making your final decision.
The neighborhood you choose is often more important than the house you select. You won't be happy living in an unsafe neighborhood, and if you are an investor it will be hard to find good renters.
Author Bio: Elizabeth Braydon has worked as a Realtor for several years now after making a career move into what she calls her dream job. Read her property articles on a selection of blogs and websites.