A monthly series of tips, tricks, and hacks to help make your home buying journey a more pleasant one!

Join local online groups.

These days, you'll find every niche special interest group on various social media platforms. Some of the more active groups are the local residents & homeowners groups. Some are neighborhood / subdivision-specific, while others encompass the whole town.

If you're buying a home in a community that's unfamiliar to you (or somewhere you've never personally lived before), you should join some local resident groups (probably not the PUBLIC / un-moderated one with tens of thousands of trolls salivating in wait to tell you about the worst parts of the community... Read their posts and comments, but look at things from multiple perspectives before giving any wild stories, attitudes, etc too much credence).

Ideally, you should do this before settling / deciding upon your future neighborhood, but definitely before making an offer on a home. This will give you a better idea of what to expect when you move into your new home.

It's also a good idea to ask friends and family who have lived in the neighborhood for feedback. They might have some insight into how well the area is maintained, whether there are any issues with crime, and so on. Keep in mind that people who have lived in or near a place years or decades ago might very well be out of touch about how things are there today, or might view "safety" from a lens that you don't filter life through.

Home owners out there, did you join any online (or in-person) community groups prior to or since moving into your community? How did what you learned in those spaces affect your decisions? I'd love for you to comment below!

And as always, I'm here to answer any questions or help you with anything relating to buying, selling, or investing in real estate in Chicago + suburbs.

Laurie Christofano, Realtor in Oak Park, Chicago and Suburbs
RE/MAX In The Village

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