San Diego offers many types of neighborhoods, so which one is right for you and your family? When you’re in the market for a home, the type of neighborhood is an important factor to consider. In many cases, you can’t simply judge by appearances. The value of a piece of real estate– whether a house or condo– is largely based on the value of the particular location. It’s a good idea to conduct adequate research on the immediate community, such as its safety and social aspects, before making the decision to purchase the home.

The first step to take is to judge the level of crime in the area. Talk to the local police department and request police logs or information about criminal activity. Inquire about the frequency and type of crime committed in that particular area. Certain levels of criminal activity are more of a concern than others. For example, incidents such as radios stolen from cars are not indicative of a dangerous neighborhood. Rather, activity like home burglaries or gangs is questionable. You should also observe activity yourself, but don’t make the mistake of only judging at one time of day. Observe throughout the day to see what goes on in the area  and the type of people that come out once it grows dark.

Safety is not just a matter of crime, but is also related to streets and transportation. How safely can your kids can travel to school? Are there adequate crosswalks and safe speed zones on their route? Do they have to cross busy streets?

Don’t hesitate to simply ask the local people what they can tell you about the neighborhood. Head downtown to a local restaurant or bar and start a conversation with some locals. They may act as an extremely valuable resource for insight about the reputation of the area and the type of residents who live there.

Find out whether the homes in the area are owned or rented. Keep an eye open for house remodeling projects, which indicate a presence of owners who want to stick around in the area.

Buying a house is a decision with many factors, and the value of the neighborhood is just one of them. Whether you’re in the market for a condo, luxury home, or mid-size family home, you will want to find a neighborhood that fits. Sometimes this takes a bit of investigation, but the time you invest will be worth a home you love.

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