Neighborhood Hunting Made Easy

Neighborhood hunting made easy
Neighborhood hunting made easy

When looking for a home, Laura Hansen knew she was going to be making some compromises. Her previous home, in Annapolis, Maryland, was a townhouse in a development full of busy young professionals like herself. This time, she wanted more of a dream house, and for Hansen that meant a sprawling property with a dock overlooking the Chesapeake Bay.

The bay house she found and ultimately bought was a fixer-upper with a great price. But the neighborhood is filled with people her parents' age--not exactly great for the single Hansen's social life.

As Hansen discovered, the perfect home isn't always in the ideal 'hood, and the best neighborhoods don't always have the dream crib. When you go real estate shopping, you're not just buying the house, you're buying into everything around it, too.

Writer Mary Umberger with InmanNews has come up with a set of criteria to take the surprises out of neighborhood hunting. Inspired by her list, we spoke with Prudential Douglas Elliman's Frances Katzen, who heads up The Katzen Group, and Stanley Wong of Beast Social, a real estate event planning group. Here's their advice for how to make sure you and your new neighborhood are the perfect fit.