Real Estate Q&A: Is This a Good Neighborhood?

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart Realty Group

Real Estate Q&A: Is This a Good Neighborhood?Neighborhood


You've decided you want to be closer to family, or you want less of a commute to work, or perhaps you want better schools for your kids.  Whatever your reason, you have an idea of where you want to live. You may have narrowed it down to a few towns or areas, but you haven't researched the neighborhoods.

Of course, you can go online and Google or Bing information.  This would be a good place to research crime data.  

Here are a few links for more information:


The best way to get good data?  Spend some time in the neighborhood!

  • Drive through the neighborhood early in the day, midday and at night
  • Take notice of the other houses/yards in neighborhood.  Notice any junker cars?  Poorly kept yards? Outrageous paint colors?
  • Do you hear any barking dogs?  Airplanes flying overhead?  A garage band next door?
  • Visit the neighborhood or community park or pool and talk to the neighbors
  • How far are you from conveniences? Grocery store? Gas station? Library? Church? Restaurants? 

How do you know if the neighborhood is nice?  A combination of online research and "hands-on" experience. 




Real Estate Q&A: Is This a Good Neighborhood?

Posted by


rich and donna


Donna Foerster

The Foerster Team

Cherry Creek Properties, LLC

REAL Market Knowledge. REAL Service. REAL Estate.

Serving Metro Denver

720-530-5554 (cell)


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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Chris Ann Cleland 05/19/2013 03:24 AM
  2. Debbie Reynolds 03/16/2016 10:07 AM
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Ashley Connolly
Northeast Water Wells Inc - Jaffrey, NH

Wow fantastric information i had never even heard of most of those links but invaluable information im snooping all my neighborhoods info now!!! Congrats on the feature

Aug 23, 2012 12:09 AM #20
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Everybody enjoys a different quality of life and lifestyles are different. Spending time in a neighborhood at different times of the day and the week will give a person a better feeling.

Aug 23, 2012 12:19 AM #21
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

You are right.  Realtors in our office often send out intranet messages like "where is the best development for a young family".  My response is always the same.....THATS CALLED STEERING.  This may sound creepy but early on we were told to tell people if they wanted to know if a neighborhood was good for kids to drive through it while the school busses are dropping kids off.

Aug 23, 2012 12:32 AM #22
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Agent

Thanks Scott!  I found some resources that are nationwide, so I thought this would be a good place to share!

I like how you think Debbie L.  It's true, the buyer could find their new best friend!

Dick~ It can be a difficult question and we have to be careful how we answer.  The buyer needs to make the decision (with a little guidance).

Jan~ That is so true.  Everyone has different needs.  A family or someone with pets might want to be near a park. 

Aug 23, 2012 12:35 AM #23
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Agent

Debbie R.~ Really?  The history of resales? I haven't had anyone ask that question.  That's a darn good question.

Evelyn~ When we sit down to talk about wants and needs, we ask about convenience to most of the things that you mentioned.  So when we go out to look, I will point out those places.

Mike~ City and county websites are very good resources.  Often times those websites will have demographic information also.  Maybe I should revise my post, or write another one about that information.  Thanks for sharing!

You are absolutely right, Rosalee.  A little bit of computer work and a good measure of "in person" exploring will give the buyer the WHOLE picture.

Tammie~ You can't beat a first hand experience.

Maureen~ That's a valuable resource!

Christine~ Only the buyer can make that final decision.

Aug 23, 2012 01:11 AM #24
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

Donna, congrts on the feature and thank you for those links.

Aug 23, 2012 01:48 AM #25
Harry F. D'Elia
Real Estate and Beyond, LLC - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

That is the most asked question by residential home buyers in my book.Good answer

Aug 23, 2012 02:29 AM #26
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

This is a great article! There are so many things that buyers ask us that run right up against steering laws.  We can NOT comment on these.  I  tell them this over and over again and they STILL try to  needle the info out of me.   What about "its against the law and I could lose my license"  don't they get?  I put up a similar post and send it to my buyer clients - but they STILL try to wheedle the information out of me.   Its tough because so many run pell-mell into the worst areas hoping to snag a bargain.  

I had most of these links up but not the family watch dog...I'm going to add this to my site.  Thanks for posting this.


Aug 23, 2012 02:51 AM #27
Daniel Walsh
Re/Max of Santa Clarita - Santa Clarita, CA

Great advice in response to those questions from buyers.  The idea of providing links has become an absolute necessity for we as agents to assist clients in determining for themselves if it is or is not a good community for THEM specifically.  When all else fails, I have responded to the question with a question to build rapport, "That all depends, what are you looking for in a neighborhood?".  The answers vary a lot more than you would think, and you get to really learn about the way people think and approach things.  

Aug 23, 2012 04:50 AM #28
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

Donna -- thanks for the links.  As Maureen (#13) noted about Portland, we also have similar resource through the city of Tacoma website, here in Puget Sound area.

One of the downsides to living in a community where the police are proactively working to clear out "squatters" in vacant homes, is that we end up with homes that have city of Tacoma plywood additions.  Pretty obvious.

Aug 23, 2012 04:55 AM #29
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Donna, Excellent post my friend! I'm trying to get going too! Just kick me. :)

Aug 23, 2012 05:05 AM #30
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Hi  Donna, great post and so true. I always advise going to the neighborhoods and at different times of the day and on different days of the week.

Aug 23, 2012 06:59 AM #31
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Agent

Ed O.~ I guess the information is helpful for agents and consumers alike!

Exactly Richard!

My pleasure Nick!

The Christian Team~ Time of day can make all the difference.

Thank you Michael.  The buyer is the ONLY one that can make the decision!

Thanks Ashley.  Glad you found some value in the post.

Ed S.~ No doubt about it!

Chris and Dick~ We have to be very careful about how we answer this question.  As many have already said, we can be a resource for information, but we should never give our opinion!


Aug 23, 2012 12:02 PM #32
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Agent

Mike F.~ Thank you and you're welcome.  :-)

Thanks Harry.  I need to add the links to my profile AND my website!

Ruthmarie~ Thanks for reminding me that I can send this (via email) to my clients.  I don't always think of that!

Daniel~ Love your question for the buyer.  It helps them to really think about what's important!

Steven~ It's nice to have community specific websites as a resource.

Connie~ Q&A posts provide good information to agents AND consumers!

Sandy~ It's good advice no matter the neighborhood or the market!

Aug 23, 2012 12:10 PM #33
Robert Haynes
Robert Haynes & Associates - Fishers, IN

Good post and links. With this being such a common question among buyers, these links are a great resource to pass on to them.  Nothing is as good as checking out the neighborhood at various times of the day/week!  

Aug 24, 2012 12:39 AM #34
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393

Hi Donna -- what is good to you may mean something entirely different to me or to someone else.  You have great links so buyers can find out for themselves.   As we hear over and over again and with good reason when asked these types of questions -- cite the source.   Very good post - Well done.

Aug 24, 2012 02:53 AM #35
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Agent

Hello Robert~ Somethings you will just never know, whether or not the neighbor is good about shoveling snow (if you are buying in the spring/summer) but there is a lot you can get a feel for just be spending a bit of time in the neighborhood before you make the decision to buy.

Michael J.~ My goal is to educate consumers to make good decisions.

Aug 24, 2012 10:04 AM #36
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

I have often suggested to buyers that they do some door knocking in the neighborhood, or approach folks who are out doing yard work on the weekends.  People like to talk about their neighborhoods.  Good, bad and in between.

Aug 31, 2012 05:32 AM #37
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Agent

Chris Ann~ Good advice.  The best way to make a decision is to "experience" the neighborhood.

Sep 01, 2012 12:17 PM #38
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Debbie Reynolds re-blog brought this post to my attention.  Yes, I've been asked that question, and it's very subjective.  Another experience of the neighborhood is to visit the grocery store on the weekend, and drive by the area on the weekend.

Mar 17, 2016 04:41 AM #39
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Metro Denver Real Estate Agent
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