You should do as much research about your listings of interest as possible.
Your goal should be to avoid “deal breakers” before going under contract on a home. Is this home or neighborhood on a cut through street? Military flight path? Is the neighborhood a ghost town and you wanted some socializing with neighbors? A neighborhood will feel different, drastically, depending on the time of day or on certain days of the week. As a home buyer, you should spend more time scouting out the house you’re interested in at various hours of the day and night to determine if the home truly is a good fit. Talk to residents to get a good feel for their take on your potential new community, you will be glad you did!
Depending on your market situation, you can do this prior to going under contract on a home, or if things are moving too fast, like they are in certain price points here in Atlanta, you can get under contract and then do this during your due diligence period (which on average right now is 7-10 days).
A recent realtor.com® article highlights the best times for clients to check out a property before buying:
8 a.m.: Drive the area in rush hour. How will it affect your commute, whether that’s a drive into work or using public transportation? Start from the home and run the routes.
10 a.m.: What do you hear now? Construction, traffic noise, or barking dogs? Drive your potential street on a weekday and see how many people have cars in their driveways, see if there are other neighbors around, or does it look like a ghost town?
3 p.m. School is out, so what does the neighborhood look like now, especially if the home is near a school. Are children cutting through your yard and into your future flowerbed? How is the traffic and would you feel OK letting your own children walk home from school?
5:30 p.m. How’s the commute home? “If you are envisioning sitting outside relaxing with a glass of lemonade watching your kids ride bikes, you don’t want to find out too late that Waze is redirecting traffic through your quiet neighborhood,” the realtor.com® article notes.
9 p.m.: Wild parties in the evening hours? How safe does the neighborhood feel at night? Is it well-lit or dark? Park your car in front of the house and roll down the windows to check the noise and your comfort level.
3 a.m. Check for planes, trains, and traffic noise. You don’t want to discover you can’t sleep because of the noise after you move in.
Source: “All the Times of Day You Should Visit a Home Before You Buy,” realtor.com® (Sept. 14, 2016)