You've been looking for a new home and you have finally found one. Now, your next job is to find out more about the neighbourhood. This is the area that you're going to call home for the years to come so you’ll need to make sure that you'll feel comfortable there. As well, you'll want to be certain that the resale value of your home will rise in the future. Before signing anything on the dotted line, do your homework.
Visit the home at different hours
Check out the house during the daytime and at least once at night. When it's dark in the neighbourhood, the whole area will have a different feel. Would you feel safe in this part of town both day and night? If so, that's your first step forward.
Take a look at neighbourhood blogs and newspapers
Find out what's going on in the community by browsing through the blog or newspaper associated with that neighbourhood. You can tell a lot about a neighbourhood by just looking at the local issues. If there is a lot of talk about opposing issues, for instance, there may be a note of dissension between the residents. If, on the other hand, you see a lot of stories announcing community events such as barbecues or fund-raising parties, this is a clue that the community may be bonded and working together towards making the neighbourhood a special one.
Look at the crime statistics
You can find out more about the community's safety by visiting the official website for the Calgary Police Department. You should also check to see whether that part of town has an active Crime Stoppers community. Don't be fooled - some higher end districts can experience extreme crime rates. Just because you're looking at an affluent area does not necessarily mean that the level of crime is low.
Visit the neighbours
Ask the neighbours what they think about the community and what they like the most and least about it. In most cases the neighbours won't hold back and will tell you exactly what the community dynamics are like.
Use your gut feeling
If everything about the neighbourhood checks out but you still have a vague and underlying bad feeling about purchasing a home there, you may want to listen to your gut. Sometimes it's hard to describe these feelings but in many cases you’ll find out later exactly what was causing them. You certainly won't want to start off a home purchase with a bad feeling from the start. Wait until the right feeling comes along backed up by neighbourhood research and you'll be able to sign your new home contract with total certainty.