Drive By Potential New Homes At Night Before Signing The Contract

Drive By Potential New Homes At Night Before Signing The Contract

When you’re in the market for a new house or apartment, chances are you only visit the property during the day with a real estate agent. Before you sign the paperwork, drive by on your own at night to get a feel for the area.

Photo by Vlue (Shutterstock).

Popping in at night might help reveal any boisterous neighbours, streetlights directed into your building’s windows, and give you a general idea about the neighbourhood’s safety and parking situation. It’s no substitute for actually living there for a few weeks, but you may find some red flags that could put you into a bad housing situation.

LPT: When house/apartment hunting, drive by at night. [Reddit]


  • Doesn’t everyone do this?

    Also – check it out at rush hours and see what the traffic flow/noise is like. And if you are going to check it out at night, make it Friday or Saturday nights around your (or kids) bed time. … also good if it is a cool night because that is when sound travels further.

    • Yeah, I have to confess to doing this – I always do a basic reconnaissance of an area before living in it, though I tend to use Thursday night, as it’s payday for a lot of people and I can understand people letting off some steam on Fri/Sat nights.

      For me, red flags are properties that have a lot of vehicles parked outside them, and neighbourhoods that have a high percentage of dogs.
      Then again, I have the luxury of renting and not being tied down to one place, so if I don’t like the area, I can easily move.

      • It’s interesting that you view renting as a luxury when most people would consider living in your own home as the luxury, instead of a landlords house. I rent too so it was a refreshing perspective to read, and like you said, a bad neighbourhood is easy to leave when you are a renter 😉

    • Yeh.. I was going to say the same…

      You go over on a weekday, during the afternoon school rush hours (take time off if you have to.. house purchases are a big decision).. check out the noise etc.. go get a bit to eat and come back..

      Then do the same on a Saturday..

      Also if there is a event place nearby, like a football stadium for example, go when there is an event on and see how the sound transfers etc..

  • The point about getting a feel for the parking situation is a good one. During the day people obviously all head off to work, so it’s only by visiting at night that you might discover a shortage of on-street parking, and that can be a real annoyance!

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