What clues should I look for in checking out a neighborhood?
As you hunt for your first home, you will probably look at several homes in your price range. Often, in that case, other community elements can help you decide which property is best for you. For example, compare:
How clean are the streets? How's the property upkeep in general? Are there streetlights? Sidewalks? What's the noise level? Is there industry nearby - or train or airplane traffic? Do you notice any unpleasant odors from some unseen source?
Is public transportation within walking distance? Are thoroughfares or expressways accessible? Are there opportunities to attend sports events, cultural affairs, adult education? Are there parks, trails, places to swim, boat, skate, and play golf or tennis nearby?
How far to work from each property? How far to shopping, schools, hospital, places of worship, and entertainment. How far to a fire station? How far from friends and relatives?