I would suggest driving around town, and walking as well. If you have children, look up the relevant school information online, and visit the schools in person - as a Reading native, I had a strong personal preference to stay at my elementary school, which influenced my parents' home-buying decision when I was a child.
Otherwise, some considerations to keep in mind that could affect your preference would be whether you prefer to walk, drive, bicycle, or utilize the commuter rail, or if you would rather be in a residential area, or closer to stores or restaurants.
Different neighborhoods in town also have varying levels of density - some are more spacious than others, and that is important to many people. Depending on the size of the home you want to buy, you may want to choose one area over another - in most cases, it is best not to be the biggest house on the street, and you may be uncomfortable occupying the smallest - but that is your personal choice.
Generally, in almost any area, a home that is on the lower end of the spectrum in a neighborhood with fairly consistent pricing (properties that are fairly comparable, but with some differences), will be easier to sell than a home at the high end of the price spectrum. So the period of time you plan to live in your new home may be a factor as well - if you want to be able to sell quickly whenever you want, that would particularly affect your choice in this way.
I suggest consulting with several Realtors familiar with the area, and then pick one who you think will best represent you as a Buyer's Agent. Having an established relationship with a professional is a good way to start your search, and they can show you homes that meet your requirements in each part of town. By taking this approach, you will have a representative who knows your particular needs and preferences, and also someone who will prepare you in advance to successfully purchase a property when you find something you like. Reading is a competitive market for buyers, so having your "ducks in a row" is critical, and someone who is a local expert will be able to advise you appropriately with regard to your bidding strategy when the time comes. Then this person will be able to represent your interests as they usher you through to the closing of the transaction. Many buyers are not aware of the immense amount of work involved on the part of agents, attorneys, lenders, etc. that takes place after an offer has been accepted. Having a qualified Realtor to help you through these stages as well as your initial search will ensure that you are successful in finding and purchasing a new home that is right for you. The purchase is not complete until all closing paperwork has been signed, and the deal has been recorded at the Registry of Deeds. That process can take anywhere from just a few weeks in rare cases, to several months, depending on the situation.
The essence of all this boils down to the fact that it is important to interview multiple Realtors for the job of representing you. If you do that, their job will be to help you through every step. Part of the value they add is being able to assist with even basic questions such as which areas are best for you. The beauty of buyer agency is that it does not typically cost anything, since the commission for both the buyer's and seller's brokerages is pre-determined by the agreement the seller has made when listing their property. That money is coming out of their pocket, whether you use your own agent or not.
So it is certainly in your best interest to work with a Buyer's Agent. If you do not, and consent to dual-agency on the part of the seller's agent (allowing the person representing the seller to represent you as well), you receive no benefit on individual reputation. However skilled and ethical a Realtor may be, representing parties on both sides of a deal is difficult at the very least, and often can be problematic.
Once you have found a good Buyer's Agent, they will be available at all times for any questions you may have. If they are not, then don't hesitate to tell them you are going to work with someone else instead, and do so!... more
Take Route 93S to Charlestown exit take bear left at traffic light take 1st right onto Bunker Hill Ave, cross RR tracks take immediate left onto Medford Street and go to end of street Back entrance to Navy Yard straight in front of you. The key to easy traffic flow is leave Reading at 6:30 AM but no later than 6:45 AM. travel time averages approximately 30 mins.... more