When you come across any house that you think you will really like, you should start a checklist of more than just the home tour. You should have a checklist for touring the neighborhood as well. Here are some items that you need to watch for when you are checking out the neighborhood.
While this rule does not apply to every neighborhood, you should look for businesses that toss up red flags. Having too many pawn shops and loan stores, specifically payday loan offers, can sometimes be a flag for future disaster.
See what is available as far as pharmacies and grocery stores. Find out where these places are located, if they are easy to get to, and if they have a good selection of what you normally buy. Can you gain access to the things you need without a commute you're not prepared for?
If you see a lot of policemen constantly patrolling, it could mean a higher crime rate than you want to deal with. It is best to ask people of the community about the local crime rates. But, you do want to see police once in awhile, it means the force is showing concern.
Check to see if the roads are being kept clean, if the landscaping is adequate, and if there is a lot of construction going on. Sometimes construction can signal upgrades to a neighborhood. Lack thereof might mean that the neighborhood is dwindling.
Some communities are very open and friendly and want to show it. Many will hold yard sales or bake sales to bring people together. They may also have block parties to help bring the community closer together.
These are all items that you should take a look at when it comes to choosing a home. You may even want to consider looking at the neighborhood before you even tour any homes. If you like the neighborhood, that is one very big factor you can already check off your home search list. A safe neighborhood is always an important factor to consider when becoming a homeowner.