With summer fast approaching, many of you may be looking to buy a new home. It’s easy to fall in love with a particular property, but you’ll want to get as much information about it as possible before buying. Doing a bit of basic detective work could help you determine if your dream home is actually all it appears to be. I’ve put together a few helpful ways to investigate a house before you decide whether or not to buy.
1. Walk Around the Neighborhood
When you buy a home, you’re also essentially buying the neighborhood as well. Walking around the neighborhood can give you a good idea of your surroundings, the neighborhood’s walkability, and a general insight into the community. Plus, talking to your neighbors could reveal a great deal about the area.
2. Stop by at Different Times and Days
One common mistake many people make when buying a home is only viewing the house at the same hours during the day. Stopping by at odd hours, such as the early morning or evening, could reveal a great deal about the area. At night, you may discover unwanted disturbances such as barking dogs, trains, or noisy neighbors. Visiting on the weekends could expose annoyances that would have been missed during the weekday, such as children playing around the property.
3. Take Your Investigation Online
The Internet is a wonderful tool for investigating your potential new home. Checking the local news archives and police blotter could unveil a wealth of information about your new home and neighborhood, such as recent burglaries or other criminal activities. Googling the street address may also provide some useful insight.
Another thing to consider is entering the address into Google Maps and looking at the property in “Street View.” The satellite images taken by Google are often several years old, and are the next best thing to visiting the house in a time machine. You could reveal anything from exterior repairs to an ill-kept yard, and Street View can also be used to see any changes that have been made to the surrounding area.