where to find information on a neighborhood
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How Can I Find Information About the Neighborhood I Want to Live In?

May 1, 2019

There are many details that go into finding the perfect location to settle down and buy a home. School districts and crime rates around potential neighborhoods are among the top important factors that home buyers look into before putting in an offer. The question is: How do homebuyers find important information on the neighborhood they want to live in? There are multiple different places to look when researching deal-breaking details, most of which can be confusing. Here are the details you need to know and the best places to look for them before making this life changing decision.


It seems the internet has an answer for just about any question you pop into a search engine. Although researching can be exhausting and never-ending, it’s important to tackle this task with extreme caution to ensure all wants and needs in a potential neighborhood are found and checked off.

School Districts

For house hunters looking for a home to start a family, choosing a location with a great school district is of top priority. To find the local school districts around the neighborhood you’re looking into, take your research to GreatSchools. Not only does this site show ratings and information for each school in the district, it also provides articles and tips to ensure your child is getting the best education possible at any school. Looking for more helpful sites in this area? Check out Neighborhood Scout for more ratings and information on school districts.

Crime Rate

No one wants to live in an area where crime is on the rise. A new home owner should feel comfortable in their own home and neighborhood no matter if they’re alone or with others. Checking the crime rate in surrounding areas can assist in making the right neighborhood decision. For crime rates, you can look at Neighborhood Scout or, to look deeper into this topic, go to the FBI’s Crime Report where you can look up crimes by offense, region, state or local agency.


For those of you who are looking to relocate to a new state completely, it might not be a bad idea to look into the what the typical weather is year-round. If you like the heat, you probably shouldn’t move to somewhere that has more cold months than warm and vise versa. U.S. Climate Data offers a site which shows the typical highs, lows, precipitation and more, and is divided up by month for easy readability.

Property Taxes

Unfortunately, paying taxes is a necessity in order to own a house. The amount of taxes that must be paid for a home is different in every area. When looking into a new neighborhood, researching on the current tax amount and history is very important for affordability. This could make or break the neighborhood you’re looking into if the tax rate is too high.

The most trusted source to turn to when looking for information pertaining to property taxes is BS&A Online. While a few municipalities charge a modest $2 fee to look up public records, many provide that information for free. It’s also important to note that it is always free to pull this information as the homeowner.

Things to Do in the Area

You should make sure there are activities to partake in around your potential neighborhood, so you don’t spend your free time sitting at home bored. Before deciding on a forever home, check out the restaurants, retailers and entertainment options available to ensure they are all a good fit for you and your family. You can find this information on the city or township’s website. If you can’t seem to find the website, a simple search of “Things to do in X-City” will suffice.

Finally, look up the address in a search engine to see what comes up around the home or neighborhood. You can learn a lot about an area by simply looking at a map. Find restaurants, stores and even home businesses in the neighborhood that may not come up on a normal search.

Visit the Neighborhood

There’s no better way to learn about a neighborhood than actually visiting it. Take a few trips to the location you’re looking into to witness–first hand–what the neighbors and traffic are like throughout the neighborhood. The best way to get an actual feel for everything is to take multiple trips at different times of the day/week. Traffic might be slow, and people may not be out and about during the week, but weekends could be the total opposite. Same goes for day versus night. By taking a trip to your potential future neighborhood, you can also see the proximity to police stations, fire departments and hospitals in case of future emergencies. You can never be over prepared!

If you’re looking to further discuss how to find information on the neighborhood you want to live in, contact our team of professionals. We would love the opportunity to chat with you.