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How to Test-Drive a Neighborhood Before You Buy a House

How to test-drive a neighborhood before moving to a new place

Would you buy a car without giving it a test drive? Probably not. A test drive helps you understand what it would really be like to own, live with, and use a car, giving you the opportunity to notice subtle details that you can experience only by taking it for a spin. After all, this is a sizable investment.

And buying a home is an even bigger commitment. After all, you’re not just buying the property itself, but a new life in terms of your community, your commute, the local restaurants, you name it.

The good news is, moving to a new place doesn’t need to be a completely blind leap of faith. Here’s how you can take the neighborhood for a little test drive first:

Live like a local

The first step of this process is to spend some time in the area — ideally by booking an Airbnb listing as close as possible to the property. Sure, this isn’t free, but the peace of mind this can give you about an area is worth the investment.

Try to book for at least three days, preferably Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. In doing so, you’ll be able to see what the neighborhood is like on both weekdays and weekends.

From there, spend some time exploring the neighborhood during the morning, afternoon, and evening to gauge noise levels and safety in the area.

Run through your daily routine — and commute

In addition to noise and crime levels in the area, you’ll want to get a sense of your daily commute to and from work, shopping routine for groceries, and other errands. Make sure to use the mode of transportation you’ll be using, whether that’s a car, bike, bus, or otherwise.

Sample the nightlife

Happy hours and weekend festivities are a common part of building a social life. As such, you should spend at least one night going out where you coordinate with friends to grab dinner or even head out bar hopping. Your goal should be to see as many venues as you possibly can, to get a sense of the ambiance and demographics of the local nightlife and social scene.

 

Ready to start your home search? Check out some Orlando community information here.

 

Source: “How to Test-Drive a Neighborhood Before You Buy the House,” realtor.com