Agent

Smart buyers put on reporter’s hat

Future home values a growing concern

It's risky to buy a home in an area you know nothing about. Plan to investigate the neighborhood before you buy to make sure you'll like living there. Buyers who know homeowners in the neighborhood have a ready source of information. Buyers transferring from out of the area face a bigger challenge. Your future employer can recommend neighborhoods, and may know people living there that you can contact. Subscribing to a local newspaper will give you access to local news and events. There is some neighborhood information online. Check Realtor.com, the National Association of Realtors' national Web site. Go to "Find Neighborhood" on the home page. You might also find information by using your search engine to find a certain neighborhood. Good public schools are a priority with most homebuyers, even if they don't have school-age children. Housing demand and property values tend to be higher in areas that have good school systems. These neighborhoods may hold up better ...

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