1. Visit the house and neighborhood at varied times
The street may seem fine during the day but it could be totally different at night. You should also visit at different times a day to check what the traffic is like. Visit during an afternoon during rush hour as well as different days of the week.
2. Consider the costs of commuting
The costs of a long commute can really add up, not only in gas and maintenance but in time spent on the road when you could be home with family.
3. Ask questions of people who already live there
Don’t be afraid to walk around a neighborhood and speak to people you see on the street. Most are more than happy to talk about their opinions of neighborhood safety, noise, school performance, commuting times, etc. Especially if you are considering buying a condo, walk around to get a feeling about the people who live there.
4. The Internet is an excellent tool for research
NeighborhoodScout.com, for example, is a subscription service that offers in-depth looks at such considerations as crime statistics (for 17,000 law-enforcement jurisdictions), school-performance data, and quarterly price-appreciation records of area homes.
5. Neighborhood characteristics
NabeWise.com has taken 65 "quality of life" characteristics and set them up as criteria for neighborhood-hunters.
As always, if you have any questions about Rhode Island real estate, call me at 401-338-5102.