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Finding the Right Frederick Neighborhood
When a buyer is searching for the “right” home for them, a big part of that search is the neighborhood. After all, people often have many considerations, like schools for their children, proximity to job, nearby shopping, and amenities like parks and recreation, entertainment and social aspects.
When it comes to a Realtor’s advice, it can be a tricky spot, we cannot be too directive in our advice when it comes to finding the “right” neighborhood. There are 3 reasons:
1. Choices in lifestyle are subjective. Only you know what you mean when you look for a “nice” neighborhood. The definition changes with every buyer. An agent can give you resources that will help you research a neighborhood and determine that for yourself.
2. Federal Fair Housing Laws require that a real estate agent make no references that could in ANY way be construed as discriminatory against any of the 7 protected classes of people. There are also state and county laws regarding things like “steering” and other discriminatory practices.
Although a local real estate agent is probably an expert in knowing different neighborhoods, knowing what suits a buyers tastes really is limited to bricks and sticks, features, amenities and objective things. I can tell you, for instance, that in a particular neighborhood, all the homes have popcorn ceilings. If you hate popcorn ceilings, we can probably skip that area. I can tell you which neighborhoods were built when polybutylene pipes were common…or which neighborhoods have an abundance of homes with first-floor master bedrooms.
3. Information about some things is always changing. For instance, school district boundaries. I would really hate to tell someone that a particular address is in a school district where they were determined to live, only to find out that the lines had been re-drawn after they bought the house. Again, we have resources that we can suggest to do your research.
How To Search For Frederick Neighborhood Information
Resources to find the information you need are readily available. Here are a few:
Frederick County – At-A-Glance
The Frederick County Government website has a resource called At-A-Glance, where you can get the following information about property:
- Recycling Calendar, election polling place, historical imagery, plats, measure and create custom maps, area sex offenders, crime stats for neighborhoods, crime locations since 2006, community restoration projects, and a lot more.
- Note: The site works on Internet Explorer.
School Research Resources:
- School Digger for Maryland
- Frederick County Public Schools
- Great Schools ~ Public and Private School Ratings
- The Atlantic Global Report Card – School Search
- Neighborhood Scout
- Frederick Crime Map
- Frederick County Sheriff’s Office Crime Mapping
- Frederick Crime Data
- City Data has a lot of statistics
- Call the Neighborhood HOA and get information
- Visit a Playground and strike up a conversation
- Visit a PTA meeting, or call the PTA president
- Visit the neighborhood during peak times: rush hour, end of school, and during weekend down time.
- Boots on the Ground is sometimes the best way to get to know a neighborhood.