6 Questions to Ask When Evaluating a Neighborhood

Let’s face it.

There’s unexplainable excitement about buying a home and moving to a new neighborhood.


It can also be a nerve-wracking after all it is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make.

If you’re thinking about moving to a new area, it’s important to ask questions and assess the neighborhood carefully. Where you live, affects many aspects of your life, so take the factors below into account to make sure you’re making a  good investment.

As the time goes by, your needs will change, and your current neighborhood might not sustain your lifestyle anymore. Keep this in mind when looking for a new home.

Before you sign on the dotted line, ask these questions to determine if a neighborhood is right for you.

1. How Does the Neighborhood Suit My Lifestyle?

Look around and get a feel for what it might be like living in the neighborhood. Make sure to list your activities and favorite stores you frequently visit to see how far they are from the area.

  • Is the house close enough to the Interstate?
  • Can you easily access public transportation?
  • How long will your commute to and from work be?
  • How will these factors affect your use of the house?
  • How far is the nearest hospital, banks, and supermarket?

You’ll also want to know the routes you can take in and out of the neighborhood. Take notes: What time is the peak hours?

These will determine how quickly you’ll get around.

2. Is the Neighborhood Safe?

There’s one place you want to always feel safe, and that’s in your home. Contact the local police department and ask for the crime statistics. Find out if there have been any recent incidents of violent crimes or burglaries.  If so, try to determine whether it’s rare or a regular occurrence.

3. Are there Rules and Regulations in the Neighborhood?

If you purchase a home within an HOA or homeowners association there are sure to be rules and regulations that must be observed by all residents. For instance, they might prevent residents from having a bright color exterior or placing satellite dishes on the front of the house for aesthetic reasons.

There may be architectural guidelines for exterior repairs and renovations. This could include everything from paint color to windows and even landscaping.

4. Is the Neighborhood a Good Investment?

Buying a home is one of the largest financial investment you’ll make in your entire life. Make sure you invest wisely and consider the price appreciation in the neighborhood.

Although past information is no guarantee of future performance, it’s always good to know how your property’s value might grow. Ask your real estate agent if there are any planned developments in the area which could affect the value of your home.

5. Do I Like What I See?

Drive around the area and evaluate the condition of the neighborhood and the houses.

Are they tidy and well-maintained?

Is the garbage collected regularly?

Is it peaceful and quiet?

How does it feel?

Pick a pleasant day, and chat with the people in the neighborhood. Try to get a sense of who your future neighbors are.

6. What’s the School District Like?

Schools are a significant consideration when looking for a new neighborhood especially when you have kids. Schools not only provide your children with a valuable education but also have a real effect on the resale value of your home.

You can find records of test scores, class size, college passing rate, and school enrichment programs on individual school websites.


The location of the neighborhood will have a significant impact on your day to day life, safety, comfort, and happiness. It is essential to evaluate the area and determine if it’s suitable for you and your family’s needs.

Are you thinking about buying a home soon? Check out our Steps to Buying a Home Guide. Feel free to give me a call at 703-539-2053 or email [email protected] to schedule a private showing of this or any other property.

About the Author

The above article was written by Abraham Walker, Your Northern Virginia Real Estate Agent, helping clients market their homes to achieve high sales with a quick closing time is my main priority. He’s the co-founder of Ask A Walker and can be found on YouTube, Facebook, and HERE on this blog.