Check Out the Neighborhood Before Buying a Salem OR Home

Posted By David Whitton @ Apr 28th 2011 10:56am In: Buying and Investing in Salem Real Estate

One of the many preparations you need to make before purchasing a Salem OR home is to research and assess the location of the property. It's not a "perfect" home for you if the neighborhood doesn't provide what you want in terms of schools, amenities, curb appeal, safety, transportation, personal values, and atmosphere.

Just as you identify house features that are important to you before looking for a new home, you should also do the same in regards to a neighborhood. Make a list of favorable community attributes and prioritize the items so that you can focus on those aspects when evaluating the location of a potential Salem OR home. Determine what is really important to you and your family, what amenities are part of your everyday life, and what would constitute a "deal breaker." Remember that you will most likely be part of the neighborhood for a long time and will want to be happy there.

Tips for gathering information vital to your search and assessment include the following:

1. Utilize word of mouth

  • Ask family and friends for recommendations.
  • Talk directly to potential neighbors.
  • Visit the school principal, police precinct captain, and hospital director to help evaluate the quality of those institutions.
  • Talk to your real estate agent about the status of property values, traffic congestion, and crime statistics.

2. Use the internet and local newspaper

  • Check out the HOA rules for the development.
  • Look up ratings for nearby medical facilities and schools.
  • Investigate house prices, current number of foreclosures, and units presently for sale.
  • Look at the demographics of the neighborhood. Is there a variety of age groups? Other children? Families?
  • Go to www.GreatSchools.org/ for valuable information about nearby schools.

3. Visit the neighborhood often--in a car and on foot

  • Drive/walk there at different times of the day.
  • Make note of the traffic situation--not only on the street of "your" Salem OR home but on nearby streets as well.
  • Look at the number, type, and condition of vehicles belonging to homeowners. Is the parking adequate to handle both owners and guests?
  • Check out the curb appeal of the community. Are homes well-maintained and yards well- tended to and clutter free? Are streets well-lighted, and are sidewalks available?
  • Listen for noises which could become real irritants over time. Note barking dogs, train whistles, heavy traffic sounds, bar/restaurant congestion with loud voices. Where are the potentially noisy bus stops, the school playgrounds, the parks? Also pinpoint the proximity of fire and police stations if you're not a fan of sirens.
  • Measure distances to places of importance to you. Think about getting to work, availability of public transportation, accessibility of medical and emergency services, and the convenience of schools and shopping centers.

When you buy a new home, you also buy into the neighborhood, so thoroughly investigating the community before purchasing will go a long way in ensuring the quality of life you're looking for.



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David & Dewey Whitton
The Salem Real Estate Group
6444 Fairway Avenue SE
Salem, Oregon 93706

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