Five Facts to Research When House Hunting - Quicken Loans Zing BlogWhen preparing to make one of the biggest purchases of your life, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with mortgage rates, loan options and closing costs.

With so many concerns surrounding the actual house, you may forget to research other aspects that actually contribute to a great location for a home.

With this in mind, here are five concerns to research when house hunting.

School system

If you have children or plan on starting a family after you move into your new home, it’s a good idea to move to an area with a good school system.

Websites like GreatSchools, give users access to perform searches about private and public institutions based on zip code.

The four main criteria to research when deciding on a school include:

  • How does the school and district rank in mandatory standardized testing?
  • Is there a parent/teacher organization available at the school?
  • What are the school’s discipline practices?
  • What’s the school’s safety policy?

Moving to an area with a good school system can be beneficial even if you don’t have children. Homes near great school districts attract potential homebuyers, which can be an added advantage once you decide to put your home up for sale.

Neighborhood crime rate

It’s imperative that you perform a neighborhood crime rate check before you move to an unfamiliar location.

While the area may seem pleasant and harmless at first glance, the neighborhood crime rate report will paint a more accurate picture of the living conditions in that specific area.

Neighborhood Scout is a great website to help you discover the safest neighborhoods in any city. You can even customize your search to find out if the crime rate in your preferred area decreases as the median home price increases.

If you’re looking for more specific misconduct data, Neighborhood Scout also allows users to divide search inquiries into three categories including:

  • Property crime rate
  • Violent crime rate
  • Crimes per square mile

Public transportation

When I moved from the city to the suburbs, I had no idea that the public transportation system would be a nightmare to learn.

Not only did the buses seem to arrive sporadically with no rhyme or reason, when they actually showed up it was nearly impossible to get a connecting bus to the city.

If you rely on public transportation or simply take buses from time to time to save on gas and explore your surroundings, I strongly suggest you research the public transportation in the area you’re considering before you make a final decision.

Sex offenders list

If you have a computer, smartphone or iPad, you should definitely research whether or not any registered sex offenders live in the neighborhood of your interest.

Websites like Family Watchdog allow users to find registered sex offenders all over the nation by searching for one or all of the following:

  • Address
  • State
  • Zip code
  • Name

If you already know what state you want to live in, you can also search on the United States Department of Justice website for more detailed results.

Property taxes

Believe it or not, numerous homeowners lose their homes to the County due to their inability to pay property taxes. Property taxes typically get reassessed when you purchase a home. While it’s possible your property taxes may fall, property taxes usually increase after a reassessment.

The American dream of home ownership is very feasible in 2012. Before you take advantage of record low mortgage rates, be sure to research some of the bold topics listed above. Your findings may give you a heads up and also save you a headache in the future.


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