I would be willing to argue that picking the neighborhood is a decision almost as important as picking the house itself. If you are looking for your “starter home” and plan to only be there for a few years, maybe it’s not as big of a deal. But if you are looking for a home for your family to grow in for the next ten, fifteen, twenty years … you will want to really think through who you want your kids to grow up around, where you will want to go for a jog, which playgrounds you will take your children to, and which neighbors you will want to have a block party with on the 4th of July.
So you’ve seen at least three houses in this neighborhood and you think it is a place that you could really call home. Unless you have lived in the area for a number of years, chances are you aren’t familiar with the different neighborhoods that you are looking into. To get a feel, here are a few steps that I recommend to make sure it is the right fit for you:
1) If you have a dog, take it for a walk around the block. This is a great opportunity to meet some of the neighbors without knocking on their doors. Whenever you encounter a fellow dog-walker, maybe ask them what their favorite and least favorite aspect of living in the area is. Unless they are the homeowner for the listing, they don’t have much to gain or lose by giving you an honest opinion.
2) Drive to the property after work during rush hour. Is the traffic something that you can handle every day, twice a day?
3) Check out the neighborhood on a Saturday afternoon. Are there lots of kids at the local playground? Are your potential neighbors out for a jog or bike ride? This is another great time to figure out if your neighbors are a group of people that you want to hang out with for the next decade or so.
I hope you found some of these tips helpful! If I can ever assist you in the home-buying process, never hesitate to reach out! Also, if you’re ready to begin your search in Northern Virginia, we can get you started on our Live Loudoun website, HERE!
– Casey Menish, Realtor
The E4Realty Group of RE/MAX Gateway – 42365 Soave Drive, Suite 200, Ashburn VA 20148