Home Buying Quick Guide

When it is time for your family to look at new homes for sale, you may feel overwhelmed by all the information your real estate agents are giving you. How can you ever decide which house is best for your family, in which neighborhood? In fact, over half of home buyers consider finding the right property the most difficult part of relocating the family, over selling their own homes and the process of moving. In order to skim right past the unnecessary information and find out what’s important when scoping out your next home, you need smart real estate agents to help you. Here are the most important things to ask your real estate agents about.

What is the school district like? It is a great idea to find out what your options are in the new neighborhood as far as education for your family. How many public schools do you have to choose from, or is there a private school nearby that suits your needs? You may even be able to get in touch with the district’s superintendent to schedule a tour of the campuses that your children would be attending. Ask the school officials about graduation rates, extracurriculars, and how the academics of this district compare to neighboring ones. If the schools in your new neighborhood are not up to your standard, you may have to explore other options.

Will I be surrounded by new construction? It is important to know ahead of time what developmental stages the area the homes for sale are in. If you are the first fully finished home in an up and coming subdivision and are surrounded by empty lots as well as new home construction, you may want to consider how all of the developmental activity will affect your family. Will the crews be working at odd hours of the day? Will the street to my home ever be cut off? Additionally, buying a home near where a large construction project is taking place—such as the building of a hospital or school—may be regretful if the construction is loud or inconvenient.

Should I be concerned about crime? Is this a neighborhood where your front door can be left unlocked, or would you need to invest in an alarm system if you choose to move here? Real estate agents may be reluctant to be upfront about these less savory statistics that are involved in selling a home, but it is important for you to found out how safe your family will be here, from your children playing in the back yard to your wife unloading groceries from the car in the evening. Additionally, you may want to utilize a sex offender map that can be found on the web, which will identify homes near yours that house a registered sex offender. Be firm with your realtors about the importance of these stats.

Are custom homes an option? No one wants to live in a cookie cutter house. If you are building a new home on an undeveloped lot, find out how you can tweak the model home or floor plan to reflect your family’s individual taste. Many realty groups are placing extremely similar houses down in new neighborhoods one after the other; ask your agent about making your home feel like your own with unique windows, stone accents, and more.

How long does the average family spend in this neighborhood?The perfect suburban neighborhood will rarely have homes for sale because, well, no one wants to leave. If the homes for sale in the area you are eyeing are a dime a dozen, you may want to be suspicious of why. Is a developer having a really difficult time selling a cluster of twelve new homes in a subdivision? You may find out too late that it is because the homes were knowingly built near a swamp, and will flood with every mild thunderstorm. Does it seem like there is at least one new house for sale every month in this neighborhood that was once impossible to get into? If you do not do your research, you may not know until too late that it’s because of a hog confinement plant recently built nearby—and the neighborhood is downwind.

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Alice Jennings

You can call us anytime. (203) 285-8692 My name is Alice Jennings. I am a working mother of two young boys, Jim and Joey. My husband travels a lot for work and I handle most of the household "stuff". I created this site to share my ideas for family dinners. At first that's all that it was, but over time I have had requests and questions about other family issues and products. This is very much a work in progress. I plan to let this site grow and continue to help all my readers and contributors.

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