There are other searches potential homebuyers can conduct to find out if the home, as well as the neighborhood, is the right one for them.
You can find out what types of crime or calls that police are responding to in a certain neighborhood by going to the websites of the Fort Wayne Police Department (www.fwpd.org) or the Allen County Sheriff's Department (www.allencountysheiff.org). For the Fort Wayne police, click on the “Community” tab and then scroll down to “Activity logs.” From there you can search particular neighborhoods along with particular dates. For the Sheriff's Department, click on the “News” tab and then scroll down to “Activity logs” to search communities.
In addition, you can also check the sheriff's department's website for violent or sex offenders living in your area by searching its sex offenders database.
When it comes to schools, information about school grades and ISTEP scores are published annually in The Journal Gazette and can be accessed on our website or by searching the internet. You also can go to www.doe.in.gov/accountability/find-school-and-corporation-data-reports to find school grades, enrollment demographics, ISTEP, IREAD and SAT and ACT results for schools.
If you're looking to move, Kim Ward suggests that you go to the neighborhood you are thinking about moving into and look around.
Ward, president of Upstate Alliance of Realtors and real estate broker with North Eastern Group Realty in Fort Wayne, says potential homeowners should drive around the neighborhood a few times during the day at different times to get a feel for the area.
She says to look at what shopping places are nearby, is there a grocery store and how far away is it, where kids will go to school and how far away is the home from your work.
A Realtor can give demographic information about the neighborhood, what the values are of homes in the neighborhood and whether they are appreciating or depreciating and schools.
In addition, pay attention to things like if teenagers live next door or if there are extra cars parked outside a home. If those things bother you, then you may not want to move into that home, Ward says.
Ward says often the inside of the home may be perfect, but the neighbors might not be good because their homes are not kept up.
“Neighbors are so important,” Ward says, especially if you are going to make an investment into a home.
She says buyers need to consider their priorities when purchasing a home and do what's good for them.
“(It's) so much more than the home you're going to live in,” Ward says, “you're going to be a part of the community.”