Finding a new home is an exciting time in most people’s lives, but it can also be very stressful. Unfortunately, finding a new home isn’t like buying a new pair of shoes. Signing a mortgage is a major commitment and you’ll want to find a home that truly meets all of your needs. Choosing the right home means not only falling in love with the house, but the neighborhood and city as well. This perfect home IS out there, and we’re happy to share some advice to help you find it.

 

Check for crime

There are many things to consider when house hunting, but one of the major elements is the crime rate and overall safety of the area. Take some time to research the area around the home you are looking at, as there are dozens of crime mapping services available online. Look into the U.S. Department of Justice National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW), this valuable tool can give you a pretty great look at the relative safety of the neighborhood. If you’re decision is between two homes, looking into crime history can be a major decision maker.

No matter the crime rate of the neighborhood you find, you’ll want to invest in home security. Smart home technology has steadily increased as a trend for new homeowners over the years, and a security camera is a great addition to any home no matter the neighborhood. You can find more tips for homeowners investing in home security in our blog!

Drive around

Take a drive around the area. Are there dozens of “For Sale” signs? Are there over grown bushes and uncut lawns? These are all signs that something may be up with the neighborhood. There is a major difference between a deserted neighborhood and a newly developed one. Proud homeowners will keep their lawns cut and free of trash. It can also be beneficial to spend time speaking to residents in the neighborhood, as they can typically tell you more about living in the area than a realtor.

Love the area

While looking for your dream home, find time to get to know the area. Check out the local parks, stores and libraries. A well-funded town is a sign of a growing economy. If the sidewalks are torn up and the parks are dirty, there may be an underlying issue. Furthermore, look for neighborhoods next to schools with great ratings. There is typically a correlation between great neighborhoods and great schools. You’ll want to invest in a home that has a great city supporting you.

As frustrating as home buying can be, the time you invest in looking for the perfect home will be rewarding. If you keep these tips in mind, you’ll find a home that you can grow in and love for years to come. It is much easier to update the tile in your kitchen than it is to get the city to resod the park.

(Once you’ve found your home, read our safety tips for New Homeowners!)