Most people head to the internet when they want to know more about a place. This makes sense considering that there is a wealth of information you can glean about a neighborhood using Google maps, social forums or even government sites. However, there are also some things that you can get a good hang of without going online. Here are some non-online things you can do to know an area better:
Visit the Area at Different Times
The best way to know more about a place is to visit it. Here are some of the things you will know by making a physical visit to the neighborhood:
- The topography of the area; you will know the slope of the area, how hilly it is and such like things
- How good the roads are in the area; you will know by driving around in the neighborhood
- Whether the air smells crisp and clean or there is a pungent smell (say from a nearby factory) polluting the area
- How clean the area is
- How noisy the area is
Ideally, you will only get a clear idea of the neighborhood if you visit it several times at different times of the day. Visit the area on the weekends, in the morning and in the afternoon for a clear impression.
Visit the Schools
If you have school-going children or those that haven't started going to school, then you should also be interested in the quality of schools in the area. Note that the quality of a school is not just based on its academic performance. Other factors such as the educational facilities they have, their investment in extracurricular activities and even the nature of the playground. Pay a physical visit to the schools and talk to the management to understand whether they are good enough for your kids.
Talk To Neighbors
Talking to your prospective neighbors will also go a long way in helping you understand the neighborhood. In fact, the neighbors can tell you much more than you can learn from online forums or from driving around the area. It is the neighbors who will tell you where the freshest vegetables are, which areas are not safe at night, and even the temperament of the property manager in charge of your apartment block.
Test the Public Transport
Lastly, if you think you will be relying on public transport, it pays to take a ride and test the available offers. Take a ride in the local bus line and board the train, if there is one, to see how they are managed.
Keep these things in mind as you look for a home for sale.