When you meet with your realtor at a home you want to check out, you should be paying attention to much more than just the house and yard. You also want to be paying attention to the area surrounding the house, so you can spot possible issues that you know you aren't going to want to deal with. Here are some things to look for that will help you spot potential problems before you go through with trying to buy a house.
Is the house on a busy street?
For some people, living on a busy street won't be a big deal. However, others can find that it is a huge inconvenience. If you are going to need to leave for work at a time when your street has cars flying past your house constantly, then you are going to be fighting that traffic everyday just to get out of the driveway. Also, if you have dogs or kids, then you may find yourself constantly worrying about living on a street like this.
Is the house right by a school or park?
If you tend to be a person who likes things extremely quiet around the house, even during the daytime, then you may want to steer clear of a home that is right by a school or a park. You may not like the school traffic in the mornings and afternoons when the kids are being dropped off and picked up, as well as the influx of noise when the kids are let out for recess. Parks also tend to be quite loud on the weekends if it is a popular one many kids play at.
Is the house close to an airport, near a freeway or right by railroad tracks?
If the house is right by something like an airport, a freeway or railroad tracks, you want to make sure the noise isn't going to be a problem. You may want to ask the neighbors about the amount of noise they experience so you can have a better idea as to what you can expect if you move in. Some areas use sound walls to block out the sounds from railroad tracks and even freeways and they can work well. However, not all neighborhoods do this and airports can be a real problem depending on just how close the house is to it. On the up side, if you travel a lot, you know you will have close access to transportation!
Is the house in an area known for an increased risk of natural disasters?
If you're looking at a house that is situated in a place that makes it more at risk of damage during a natural disaster, you may want to rethink making an offer. Not only are you going to have to be concerned with the increased possibility of being face to face with a dangerous situation, but you may find that you have a hard time getting your home insured against those types of disasters, or you will end up paying very high premiums.