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Ask the Expert: Finding the Right Neighborhood

Buying a house where you’re going to raise a family is a major life decision. But when purchasing a house, you’re not just buying that structure- you’re buying into the neighborhood, the community, the city and all the amenities it has to offer. So how can you be sure that you’re choosing a house in the right location for your family?

In our experience, here are three major things you should do when looking for the perfect suburb for you and your family.

  • Make a list of must-haves in the area, and then go out and explore. Do you need easy access to major highways or public transportation for a quick commute? Are there specific grocery stores that you want nearby? Is there a park within walking distance? Where can you find a killer brunch? It’s important to have an idea as to the things you want to have in the immediate vicinity of your house and neighborhood. Drive around and take note of what you see. I like to do this at night and during the daytime, so I can better gauge the traffic and the neighborhood vibe.
  • Research the education opportunities. Ensuring that your children will receive the best possible education is extremely important for most parents. You should research the city’s public and private school offerings that are available from pre-K through high school- especially which ones are zoned for the neighborhood to which you’re thinking of moving. State ratings and district test scores, as well as information about enrollment, school activities and staff, are typically available through the city’s education site or on individual school pages.
  • Talk to the locals. The best people to give you an idea of what it’s like living in that suburb are people who already live there! Approach your would-be neighbors and ask questions about the community and the neighborhood. Are there a lot of children in the area? What is the crime rate like? Is there a neighborhood watch? Getting an idea as to how people interact in town and the types of activities offered- especially family-friendly ones- is a great barometer for seeing if the community is the right place for you. You can even go out for lunch and talk to a server or the cashier at a grocery store for their opinions! If nothing else, seeing how people respond to your questions is a great indication of how open and friendly an area is.

It’s important to remember that when choosing a suburb to purchase your home in, you’re buying into the entire community. Make sure you are walking into the decision well-informed and work with established real estate agents to aid in the process. For more information on the greater Dallas area and all it has to offer visit RE/MAX Landmark today!

Terry Roberts, Broker/Owner RE/MAX Landmark

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