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  • Writer's pictureRoman Elizen

Needs to be in a nice neighborhood...

Define "nice"....


So how is the neighborhood? Its a fair question, and one that gets posed frequently to realtors. Especially when a buyer is looking to relocate to the city the agent calls home, who better to ask?

Intuitively it makes sense, but your real estate agent should hopfully stay mum on the topic.


Why you ask?


The first, and most important issue is that these rules are part of Fair Housing Law, and they were established for a good reason. Owning a home has been and is an integral part of the American dream, but historically it has not been available equally to everyone. A history of racist policies called red-lining and blockbusting deprived black and other ethnic groups of the opportunity in one fashion or another. Redlining specifically was the practice of steering buyers away from neighborhoods which the agent deemed undesirable. Often the language used was dog-whistle or out right prejudiced.


Another issue is the fact that deciding whether a neighborhood is "good" is a judgment call, completely subjective. I may think having a skateboard park within a mile of the property is an attractive feature of the area, while another person may think that it is a nuisance. It all depends on how you feel about the sport.


Well what am I to do? I'm about to make one of the biggest investments of my life and I cant ask about what the neighborhood is like?


So instead of asking your agent about the subjective quality of a neighborhood, or even schools for that matter, ask for resources. Agents can point you in the right direction for resources about schools, neighborhood crime statistics, sex offender registries and the like.


Otherwise, talk to someone you know that lives in the area. They will be able to provide a candid answer to your questions!


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