Saturday, April 9, 2011

Scoping Out Neighborhoods

Tomorrow we're going out to visit a few of our favorite houses with our real estate agent!  To get a better idea of which houses we want to visit we've spent the last two afternoons driving around the neighborhoods where our favorite houses are located.  It's amazing how much you can learn about a house just by walking by it.  As a result of our afternoon adventuring we've actually knocked two of our favorites to the bottom of our list, confirmed a few of our previous assumptions about certain houses and surprisingly moved a few houses we weren't really considering to the top of our list.

For example, we already knew that one of our favorite houses was located next to an electrical substation.  We weren't sure how much of a problem this would be, but as soon as we parked outside the house we found out.  It turns out that the substation comes right up against the edge of the lot and a piece of equipment that sits right alongside the yard makes a loud buzzing noise that just can't be ignored.  We're sad to let our favorite house go, but unfortunately that is just too much of a problem.

Another house that we thought had a great location turned out to be on a very busy road.  We were fortunate enough to be able to talk to a friendly neighbor who informed us that parking in the area is impossible at times and that the area can get kind of noisy at night when the nearby bars close.  She also knew about several problems with the house including a man-made pond in the back yard and an unmaintained hot tub.  She saved us the trouble of having to look at that one.

On the other hand, a few houses shot up to the top of our list after our little exploration.  One we plan to visit tomorrow turned out to be in a pretty nice neighborhood.  We talked to some friendly neighbors out walking their dogs and received great reviews of the area and the people who live there.  We had liked the house before but now it is one of our favorites.

Another house that we thought was going to be too far outside of the city turned out to be in a great neighborhood while a house just a few blocks away was nestled between a dry cleaner and an industrial building.  You can guess which one we'll be looking at tomorrow.

Although talking to our real estate agent and actually getting inside these houses will likely change how we feel about all these houses again, we can not advocate enough for the importance of checking out the neighborhoods around the house.  Talking to neighbors was extremely enlightening and we plan to talk to more if we get serious about buying any of these houses.  We are looking forward to getting into these houses tomorrow and we'll let you know how it goes!

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