Maybe you've already decided on the Sussex County, Delaware town you'll be relocating to – but the research doesn't end there...
There are many factors to consider when choosing where to live; cost of living, your job, cost of real estate, taxes, climate, proximity to your relatives, hospitals, shopping, density, traffic… and the list goes on. But once you have finalized that decision, you need to start looking at what type of community will best suit you. Do your homework before you buy your next home and you'll be happier for it.
Some experts say that choosing the right neighborhood is more important than choosing the right home! The house you buy can always be changed making it what you want. The neighborhood? Not so much.
My advice is to visit the area personally with a REALTOR® or a friend who knows their way around already. They can introduce you to others who have homes in the area and may be able to offer some good observations about the community.
Try to find a variety of people to talk to, but also make sure you speak to at least a few who are in similar situations, i.e. if you're retired, talk to people who moved to the area after they retired; if you have kids, talk to people with kids. If you're single, talk to people are who single, if you like to bike, find someone who bikes, etc. Keep in mind that people who have lived in an area all their lives may have different opinions than people who have recently arrived. It's good to get varied perspectives.
If you don't know anyone in the area where you are looking, ask your REALTOR® to introduce you to some residents, or introduce yourself! I suggest stopping by local businesses, city hall, churches, etc.
One good way to meet the locals – take some time on your own one day to check out the local coffee house. Strike up enough conversations over a cup of java and you’re bound to find a local (or maybe a part-timer). My favorite coffee haunts in Lewes are Café Azafran and Lewes Bake Shoppe but there are many good sandwich shops around. Just lean over to the person on your left or right and start asking questions. You can do it!
In addition to talking to people in the neighborhood, you may be able to find information about the community online. More and more neighborhoods are creating community websites which include Home Owners Association Newsletters, Bylaws, Articles of Incorporation, Covenants, amenities and other useful information about the community.
Questions You Might Ask Prospective Neighbors:
In addition to the inside scoop you’ll receive from asking around and talking to the locals, you'll also be establishing contacts in the area and maybe even making some new friends!
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Based on information from Sussex County Association of REALTORS®, Inc., which neither guarantees nor is in any way responsible for its accuracy. All data is provided 'AS IS' and with all faults. Data maintained by Sussex County Association of REALTORS®, Inc. may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.
Prudential Gallo, REALTORS® is a real estate licensee in the State of Delaware. SCAOR # SCAOR07036.
Copyright 2012 Sussex County Association of REALTORS®, Inc.