How to Research Neighborhoods Before You Buy

Just like you would want to drive a car before you purchase it, most buyers would want to “test drive” the neighborhood they are considering buying a home in before they pull the trigger. Where a home is an even larger purchase, you should be sure that you really like what it has to offer before you make a sizable investment. Here are some tips on how to do some proper research.

Daily Routine

Aside from general activity in the area, it is always a wise idea to test out your commute or daily routes that you will be taking on a regular basis. See how long it takes to get to work, how easy it is to get to the grocery store, the gym or house of worship. Also, do you plan on walking or taking public transit? See how those options fair in your new location. 

Real Life Experience

The best way to immerse yourself in a neighborhood is to actually spend a few days in it. If you don’t have friends or family to stay with, consider even booking an Airbnb nearby. Ideally, stay a couple of days to experience both a weekday and weekend day to see what the area is like. Go for walks or drives at all times of day, morning and evening to gauge the general activity and noise levels. You may also be fortunate enough to meet some of the residents and talk with them to get a real feeling of what it is like. 


Evening and weekend activities are a part of what makes a location “home.” Pick some of your favorite activities and bring along some friends to partake in them as you explore the area. Perhaps it could be some dinner spots, local bars or shopping venues that you could visit. Be sure to tell your friends that you are considering the area and solicit their unbiased opinions. After all, they will be the ones most likely to be visiting you so it’s good to see how they feel too!