I'm surprised when I hear local Realtors who do not know all of the educational institutions in the community that they work. In our Midland community, it's important for any Realtor to know what the ATC is (Advanced Technology Center --not an alternative school as some have described it); the Carver Center, the Magnet schools along with having a really good understanding of the school district's ratings and service improvement plan.

There's so much to think about when you're purchasing residential real estate and even your home. With the 2009-2010 school year fast approaching, I hoped it might be helpful to you to talk about what to look for from schools and neighborhoods and you look to buy, sell or invest.

Remember, the world wide web is now at your service. The city websites can give you valauble information regarding school district boundaries, businesses, parks, and upcoming developments or decisions. State registries, like the sex offender's registry, are also helpful as you look at neighborhoods to move to or even invest in with rental property.

Look at curriculum. School curriculum and their afterschool or extracurricular activities all influence "quality of life" for your community. If you are moving for your family or just looking at investing in property, it is important to know what the "quality of life" value is of the area. Schools, parks and museums all play a big part in that and are often the information sought by companies researching a move to an area.

Review near by gyms, grocery stores, and banks as they are also top of mind services that people seek in communities.

Ask, is there a neighborhood watch in the area? Review crime statistics to familiarize yourself with the area. And, a good Realtor can also help you know the area 'like a local'.