Finding a Good Neighborhood
When it comes to moving, where you move is just as important
as the home you choose.
As they say, location is everything! Location refers to a
large area, such as a state, city or county, but also your
surroundings in close proximity. A neighborhood is probably
what most people think of when someone nearby asks, “Where
do you live?”
Not only that, but a neighborhood determines so much about
the neighbors you will have, the community you will be a part
of and the values and interests that you will share with others
around you. You want your neighborhood to be a safe place
for your family, an easy place to meet other families like
your own, and probably close to quality schools and other
businesses. The visual appearance of your neighborhood is
probably important too. Most people want a pretty, clean place
to live, rather than an older and more run down area.
So remember, you want to evaluate the neighborhoods you look
at in many different ways. See at the big picture, but also
the smaller details that may be important later. Look at the
people. Find the parks and get oriented with the streets.
Are the yards kept? Are there kids outside in the drive ways?
Do people seem friendly? Are homes being built and renovated?
All of these may be distinguishing features of one neighborhood
versus other areas.
Decide what characteristics are crucial to your decision.
Get feedback from your family. What does your spouse prefer?
What do your kids care the most about? Since this will be
your entire family’s home, you want everyone to share
in the decision and be equally satisfied with the outcome.
Considerations may include the commuting time to your employer
or your spouse’s employer, the quality and ranking of
schools in the area, as well as population or demographic
information about the schools, and public and private school
options. You may also want to think about community institutions
you may want involvement with. Is there a recreation center
or gym? Is there a daycare center or an extracurricular center?
Know if it is in the city or a suburb. If you have animals
you may need a large yard or more land. If you are going to
farm, you will need a more rural terrain, as well.
Sometimes an agent can help with neighborhood hunting. They
will probably have a much greater knowledge and familiarity
with the neighborhoods in the vicinity, and they can give
you specific information that is accurate, rather than having
to guess by driving through it or just visiting. Go to open
houses, approach neighbors, stop in the schools or businesses.
The more people you talk with, the greater comfort you will
have in knowing what the area has to offer and what it is
really like. You may also want to visit websites or check
out local newspapers. This will have more news and events
that you may want to learn about or attend.
Choosing a neighborhood is a major part of choosing a new
home. Choosing one wisely is not as easy as picking a house
and moving right in. It does take a lot more effort to investigate
and thoroughly survey the area, but think of how much it will
pay off once you have moved into your new home.