Theres an episode of the hit TV series How I Met Your Mother where the characters of Marshall and Lily decide to buy a home in a neighborhood they are unfamiliar with, only to learn later that it sits downwind from a sewer plant. The message is obvious: A buyer must do his or her due diligence on prospective neighborhoods to make the best real estate decisions.
For starters, investigate the local school district as good schools boost your property value. Research the closest parks and community centers and consider how busy streets impact the neighborhood.
Profiling the perfect neighborhood also involves meeting prospective neighbors. Walk through the area and say hello to people, and ask them for their impressions of the neighborhood. While youre at it look around. Are there lots of kids on the block? Do people walk or jog through the neighborhood at night? A neighborhood can speak volumes by itself.