A recent survey indicates that on average, a homeowner will live 13 years in a house.
Such a length of time (4745 days and nights) warrants on the part of the purchaser a minimum of inquiry to ascertain that the house that looks picture perfect is also picture perfect in the reality of every day living.
It is worth your while, before making such a momentous decision, to be at peace with yourself and follow simple steps that will strengthen your resolve to go and live in this house.
First, get a feel of the neighborhood by walking during the week and at night in and around the immediate location of the house and be alert to any signs that could trigger for you an anxiety attack. Density of traffic, suspicious characters, many nonworking young adults, noise level, pets and cleanliness, schools and parks for quality living, proximity of shopping, immediate neighbors, planes paths, train noise.
A good way to go about it is to take a day during the week and go and sit near the porch.
A lot of the open houses organized by real estate agents occur on Sunday afternoon. Not exactly the best time to have a real feel of the surroundings.
Invest your time now, or you may forever regret your decision to buy such a nice house in such a bad environment.
A few conversations with people living near your prospective home should also give you a sense of the type of neighbors you will have. If you are suspicious, and if your instinct tells you something, do not hesitate and go to the nearest police precinct and plainly ask what the problems that are most often brought up, even more so if you have or plan to have children.
You can also, if need be, check with your insurance agent. Insurance companies “red zone” certain sections of the city for different reasons. Some might find it offensive, but insurance statistics do not lie. If it’s a “at risk” section where obtaining insurance is not available or it’s cost prohibitive, you might as well know now.