Maybe you’ve spent months and months looking for the perfect home. And now you think you’ve found it. But things aren’t always the way they seem in the beginning. You need to know more than what your agent has told you.
Who knows the most about the home you’re looking at and its neighborhood – the good and the not-so-good? The neighbors, of course. So, before you sign the papers, consider these 4 questions you should ask the neighbors before you buy a home in Santa Cruz.
4 Smart Questions You Should Ask the Neighbors Before You Buy a Home in Santa Cruz
1. What do you know about the home?
The first thing you’ll want to ask about is the home itself, and the near neighbors will likely have the answers. Although sellers are legally bound to disclose information about the home and its problems, they aren’t always as forthcoming as they should be. That’s why it’s best to check with the neighbors.
Neighbors can tell you, for example, the back story on the property and why it’s really on the market – information that can give you an advantage during negotiations. They can also tell you about the previous owners and how well they maintained (or didn’t maintain) the property. Neighbors would also know about larger issues like root problems, high water table, and flooding concerns.
2. What are the traffic conditions and the commute like?
If you intend to live in the home, you’ll have to get to work somehow. You will also have to shop, go to your doctor’s office, get kids to school, and so on. So, of all the questions you should ask the neighbors before you buy a home in Santa Cruz, this one is probably near the top.
Sure, you can find out on your own what services and amenities are located comfortably close by. But only people who live in the neighborhood can give you the real low-down. They can tell you all about road conditions, rush-hour traffic, and parking availability. Before buying that home in Santa Cruz, you’ll want to know how much time you’ll spend driving.
3. Is the neighborhood safe?
Safety and security are top considerations as well, and should definitely be among the questions you should ask the neighbors before you buy a home in Santa Cruz. Local municipalities and the local police department can provide you statistics on local crime, but it’s the neighbors who can tell exactly what’s going on with respect to safety and crime.
Here are a few of the sub-questions you’ll need to ask:
- Do they see “suspicious-looking” people hanging around the neighborhood?
- Do they feel safe going out late at night?
- Do they confidently let children play outside unsupervised?
- Do they feel they need heavy locks and security systems?
- Do they ever hear gunshots?
- How fast is the response when an incident is called in?
4. How would you describe the schools?
It doesn’t matter whether you have school-aged children or not. A good school district usually means higher property values, which is always an important concern.
You can, of course, do your own research, but neighbors with the first-hand experience with the local schools are the best resource. You should ask neighbors not only about the reputation and documented success of the school but about specific programs offered as well, especially if you have children with special needs of some kind.
Whether you’re buying the home to live in or for investment purposes, there is always some risk. But if you use these ask the neighbors these 4 questions before you buy a home in Santa Cruz, it will help to lessen that risk.