Even though the main focus when moving is on the house, don’t undermine the importance of living in the neighborhood that is right for you. Home is more than just a house.
There is much more than what meets the eye when it comes to choosing a neighborhood suitable for your situation. That is why we put together a list of what to focus on when choosing the best environment for your new home.
Determine Your Wants and Needs
Before going neighborhood hunting, it is crucial to know what you’re looking for. Start by highlighting your wants and needs. Write down priorities and find the things you simply can’t compromise on.
Figure out whether a quiet or active community would better suit your needs. Would you like to live among younger neighbors? What shops do you absolutely need nearby? It is also very important to consider your lifestyle. Maybe the ideal neighborhood you’ve been dreaming of isn’t actually the one that’s currently best suited to your needs and habits.
Once you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to go out and hunt!
Research Crime in the Area
Nobody envisions living in a crime-ridden neighborhood. According to NDMS, the simplest way to learn about local crime before moving is to conduct some online research on criminal reports in your region. You can also contact the local police department to obtain information about criminal activity in a particular neighborhood.
Keep in mind the general rule: the bigger the city is, the higher the crime rate will be.
Visit at Different Times
It’s 11 a.m. on a sunny Sunday, it’s not crowded, and you find that little corner coffee shop that’s filled with light. While that definitely sounds like a movie scene, it’s very important to visit the area at different times before moving to get a full scope of the neighborhood and avoid any unwanted surprises.
Some areas — especially parks — could seem like the loveliest spot during the day, only to be filled with danger as soon as the sun goes down.
Determine Your Budget and Deadline
Moving from one place to another can be quite a long process. This process would always be a good option if we limit the budget we have to buy or rent a house. We must keep in mind that relocation brings with it some additional costs that were not originally planned.
Just think, if you are planning to live in a rented house, the house you will rent may not have all the furniture you need, so you will have to set aside some of the finances to buy a new sofa, dining table, sleeping beds and the like. If you are buying a new home, your new home may need some sort of renovation for which you will have to invest money again. Painting the walls, replacing the damaged floor, cleaning the premises, can be costly and time-consuming.
Always determine the amount of budget you have available so that you do not get into a situation where you have to exceed your limit. It is also very important to set a deadline by which you should have already moved to your new neighborhood. Consider the days you will have to take from work to make the move, consider the beginning of the school year, you certainly do not want your children to miss the beginning of the school year in the new school.
Meet the Neighbors Before you Decide to Move
When looking for a new home, it might be a good idea to get to know some of your future neighbors. Be friendly and see what your neighbors are like. Feel free to knock on your first neighbor’s door and find out a little more about the rest of the people around you, as well as the block in which you plan to live. Are they good people who are friendly and would rush to your aid if you needed it? Or they are the complete opposite of this, they are frowning and do not want any communication with new people. This speaks volumes about what kind of relationship you might have with your neighbors in the future.
Distance From the Workplace
You should always consider the distance from home to where you work. Will moving to a new neighborhood take more or less time than usual to get to work? If you own a car, would you arrive on time or is it possible to get stuck in city traffic every day? Are there bus or subway lines that would transport you faster from home to work?
All these factors should be taken into account when choosing a new location for the home in which you want to live. Would the new location make this process easier, or make it a little more complicated.
Is There a Place for Recreation and Relaxation
Recreational activities are an important part of our lives, they help us to maintain a certain physical shape and lead a healthy life. When we change our place of residence, we must investigate whether there are parks, playgrounds, or pet parks near the new location where we can spend our free time with our loved ones. The new neighborhood would get bonus points if we could find these green areas nearby where we could enjoy our nature walks.
Consider the Housing Market
If you’ve already picked an area you’d like to move to, be on the lookout for which homes are for rent and which ones are for sale. Find out the current worth of properties in the neighborhood, then ask a real estate agent how it compares to the estimated cost five and ten years ago. How much has the value of the property increased? Is the neighborhood different now? Is the realtor aware of any upcoming events?
Keep in mind that realtors may not be permitted to voice opinions like “This or that area is impoverished” or “That neighborhood is a safe place,” so you may need to meet your potential neighbors and ask them questions.
Find Highly Rated Schools
A well-kept school with a good reputation is the first indicator of a nice and safe neighborhood. If you have kids, this is arguably the most important factor to consider while looking for a nice area.
Before house hunting (or in this case, neighborhood hunting), determine if you want your children going to public or a private school.
Once you think you’ve found a good school, always make sure to visit it and avoid any potential unpleasant surprises.
Find the Community Right for You
Take note of your surroundings. Your and your family’s future environment is at least as important as your new home. Ask questions like “Is this the area I think I’ll be able to interact in, feel safe in, and make friends in?”
Even the smallest things matter — when you’re getting a home, you’re also getting the whole community with it.