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There are a lot of factors to consider when buying a new home. Of course, you’ll want to consider things like the number of bedrooms and the size of the yard, but it’s important to keep in mind that you will not spend 100% of your time on your own property. The area around your potential home is just as important as the area within it.

Vet possible properties by canvassing the potential neighborhood and surrounding areas. Specifically, you should check these six items or statistics prior to purchasing your next home.

School Districts
If you have or plan to have children, you will want to find out about the local school district. What school will your children attend? What are the average student test scores in the area? Are there extracurricular or athletic activities available for your child? How involved are parents expected to be in the school? These are all things you may want to consider before buying a home in the district.

Crime Rates
You probably don’t want to move to a neighborhood that is unsafe. Luckily, it is easy to look up crime rates for any town you’re interested in. You can also gauge the relative safety of a location by observing the number of people on the streets, especially after dark. If you see a lot of children and families playing or people taking walks at night, it’s probably a safe area.

Walkability
If you have children or enjoy walking to local food and entertainment, you’ll definitely want to consider the walkability of your new neighborhood. Of course, this includes things like safety and proximity, but you’ll also want to take into account the cleanliness of the streets, traffic,  and maintenance levels of your intended routes.

Distance to amenities
Prior to moving, decide how far you’re willing to drive or walk for everyday things. Consider the distance to the local grocery store, your doctor, and any other places you’re likely to visit on a regular basis. Set a limit for your travel time and search for a neighborhood within an acceptable radius of these places.

Commuting
Your drive to work is an important aspect of your new location given that you will need to do it nearly every day. Assess the distance to your place of employment, but also research the traffic and commuting patterns in your new area. Does the drive home take significantly longer than the drive to work? What kind of gas mileage can you expect to get? Is easily-accessible public transportation an option?

Internet/Cable Service
Finally, take some time to consider the connectivity of any potential location. Services like internet and cable can vary from town to town, so it’s important to make sure that you’ll have access to the level you require on a daily basis. Research local provider coverage areas and rates prior to choosing your new home.