Posted by & filed under Buying.

neighborhood brick colonialResearching the neighborhood and the location of the house you want to buy is very important.  Here’s a story about my family after we bought a home:

Fire sirens are loud.  Especially fire sirens on poles that blow every day at dinner time.  Even worse when you have 2 dogs who howl the entire time – that’s a full minute at dinner time in the kitchen.

This happened to us in Leonia NJ.  My father bought a home on a block that had only 3 houses.  Buying a Leonia home was a big deal for us.  We were moving up in life from a small 2 bedroom apartment.  My family consisted of 4 children and 2 adults.  We were so happy.  As a young girl I thought we moved into a palace it was so big – nearly 3,000 square feet of space.  Then we sat down to dinner and heard it.  It seemed to go on forever.

It was a warm fall evening.  The kind that mimics summer weather so our windows were open.  neighborhood walking the dogThis only made the sirens louder.  My sister wanted a dog.  Many people get dogs for their children after they move into a house and we were no different.  My parents decided on 2 collies so they could play together when we were in school.  Great idea but not at 7 pm.  The dogs howled at the siren for the entire minute.

Researching the neighborhood is indeed important.  Not doing so is a big home buyer mistake.  My parents didn’t know that a fire siren was on the corner 1 house away from us.  As you can see we found out.

Here’s some other examples for you:

You look at a home on a weekend and go to open houses on Sundays.  Unless you’re looking on a main drag, everything is quiet.  You don’t know that the bucolic environment on Sunday afternoon becomes a speedway at rush hour.

neighborhood Little League night gameThere’s a Little League ball field nearby.  It doesn’t matter on a beautiful weekend afternoon.  After all, you want an apple pie and Little League town to raise your family.  BUT did you know about night games with tons of cars driving though your street, parking everywhere?  How about those huge outdoor lights shining into your 2nd floor bedrooms till 11 pm?

Commuting’s a breeze.  You can drive down to the bus stop and pick up your car again at the end of the day.  You do but you also pick up a ticket for parking there all day.  Commuting is also taking a lot longer than you’d expected.

No one wants to be unhappily surprised after moving in. I tell all my buyers to go back during rush hour and I do my best to give them thorough location information.  Ultimately it is your responsibility.  Researching the neighborhood fully makes sure you don’t make a mistake.

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