Check out the neighborhood
It's a good idea to visit the neighborhoods where you're thinking of buying a home ... visit at different times of the day to get a sense of the activities that take place and at what times ... does it appear to be a "safe" place to live-- is there a lot of street traffic? What about noise ... is the road the home is on a well trafficked one ... open to commercial vehicles? How close is it to schools, a hospital ... yes, even a prison. These are all things to consider when deciding where to buy a home.
Shared by ChangeChamp on 10/28/08
Definitely. Even if you're just renting it's a good idea too. Maybe take a whole day and pretend you already live there. Visit lunch places, cafes, grocery stores and just walk around and hang out. People-watch! And take notes while you're at it!
This is a great tip...when I moved I made sure to come to the neighborhood very late at night and on the weekend. It's also good to check proximity of the laundromat, grocery stores, pharmacies, etc. You could also knock on a few doors and ask neighbors if they like the street, pros and cons of the neighborhood, etc.