You’ve attended the open house; you’ve had the private showing; and you’ve liked what you’ve seen. But what about what you haven’t seen? You’re going to live in that house for many years… are you really going to make the decision to buy a Fort Bend County home based on a few hours? At Sugar Land Living, we believe that a home is more than a lot and, four walls and a roof… it’s also the world around it.
Lighting aside, neighborhoods look different at different times of the day. Typically, morning is bustling with people walking their dogs, adults going to work, and children going to school; midday is usually quiet until children return from school; and evening is the time adults return from work and wind down in preparation to repeat the cycle. Any variation in this pattern warrants scrutiny. Does the noise level, traffic or number of people parking on the street increase in the morning and midday? Could be there are residential businesses operating in the neighborhood. Does the din of power tools fill the evening air? Could be someone brings their work home with them. Have the couple next door been arguing for the last hour? Could be that house is an active war zone. Do you hear the evening news on a TV? Could be someone has a hearing problem.
Just as weekdays have their own rhythm, so, too, do weekends. Yardwork, errands and recreation account for much of the daytime weekend activity, and nighttime is often accompanied by the sounds of people having a good time. Do those activities and sounds wind down as the evening winds down or do they wind on into the wee hours? Is it a one-time occurrence or is it an ongoing problem.
Sure, you can cover more ground driving than you can walking, but what you lose in distance you gain in detail. Walking allows you to hear the neighborhood better (bad sounds, like traffic noise or barking dogs, and good sounds, like flowing water or wildlife), see the condition of the homes (structural and cosmetic), and smell the air (natural or industrial). Most important, walking gives you the opportunity to meet potential neighbors and ask them about what they think of the neighborhood, about “problem” neighbors, about construction or a big remodel that could impact other homes or their values, about someone else on the block who might be getting ready to sell?
Finally, don’t forget to take a “virtual” tour of the neighborhood you’re considering. Some neighborhoods still have their own newspapers, and many have online editions. If there’s one published for the neighborhood you’re considering, read the local stories and pay particular attention to the “police blotter” for crimes reported in the area. Also, some neighborhoods have blogs where locals share advice or post thoughts on issues affecting the neighborhood.
Given the high stakes of ownership, it pays to do due diligence before making an offer on that Fort Bend County home. Visit my Sugar Land real estate website (http://www.SugarLandLiving.com/), and then let’s talk about creating a viewing strategy that works best for your needs and schedule.