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Wednesday, 17 July 2019
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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

How To Choose A Neighborhood Right For You

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 22 May 2019 13:16

Moving into the right neighborhood can make all the difference in the world when it comes to your children’s future performance in school, your ability to sleep safely at night, and the capacity of you and your spouse to enjoy your surroundings even as you get older and less mobile. Nevertheless, choosing the right neighborhood is never easy, as many new homeowners are worried they’ll make the wrong choice which will permanently handicap them.

You don’t have to fret about choosing a neighborhood right for you if you know how to scout it out before making a final decision. Here’s what to look for when surveying your options, and how to determine if this particular neighborhood is right for you.

What makes this neighborhood special?

The first thing you want to ask yourself is what makes this particular neighborhood special; is it a sleepy suburban area perfect for raising your burgeoning family, or a thriving city-center perfect for your active lifestyle? Is it known for its lovely parks and public fixtures? How bustling is the local business community, and how easily could you get your groceries and other needs taken care of? These are only some of the questions that should be running through your mind as you survey a potential new neighborhood.

Plenty of time and attention must be paid towards the local school district. Even if you don’t have children right now, purchasing a home is a massive investment, and many people move into new neighborhoods with intentions to stay there briefly, only to end up spending the rest of their lives in that beloved area. It’s thus imperative to consider how your children (or future children) would bode in this neighborhood, which means conducting an analysis of the local school system.

Knowing how to evaluate schools in your local area begins with researching school scores and actually visiting the schools in question. Similarly, you’ll want to ask other parents in the nearby area what their opinion on the local school system is. Finally, ask yourself how your child would navigate around the neighborhood; is it bike friendly, easily walkable, and otherwise traversable and safe enough for your young ones to enjoy the local parks, visit a nearby friend, or even take themselves to school once they’re of age?

Naturally, you’ll also want to survey the safety of the neighborhood in question. This is easier said than done, as some services can be misleading or biased when it comes to how they rank the safety of a certain area. It’s nevertheless worthwhile to review some of the common ways to check if a neighborhood is safe before you blow your nest egg on a large purchase and permanently move there. Services like the Oasis Center may help you locate suitable dwellings, but never be afraid to hit the pavement and talk to people the old-fashioned way when analyzing potential home options, either.

Does it meld with your lifestyle?

Some neighborhoods will meld with your lifestyle more than others. You may want a nearby pool if you live in a hot climate, for instance, whereas others who enjoy snowy winters may want rolling hills and excellent local infrastructure that can withstand the bitter frost when December comes. It’s important to ask yourself what you’re looking for in life, what your hobbies are, and how you intend to spend time in your local community when determining if a neighborhood is fitting and proper for your family.

It’s imperative to survey local grocery stores, convenience stores, hardware stores, and gas stations. These are the kinds of amenities and conveniences which most people take for granted, and their absence in your new neighborhood could quickly drive you mad. Less important but still worthwhile is the surveying of the local nightlife and restaurant scene; if romance is important to you, don’t purchase property in a neighborhood devoid of good dating spots, for instance. Finally, overall affordability and the commute time you’ll be grappling with is an essential part of the process which can’t be ignored if you want to find your dream neighborhood.

Take careful note of how long it will take you to get to work in the morning, and what kind of hazardous driving or travel conditions you may endure in the event of a harsh winter or other inclement weather. Furthermore, if you have children, it’s worth asking how well the local school district can handle snowy roads and how long your children will have to commute to school. Forcing your kids to wake up in the wee small hours of the morning to make the bus in time can have developmental impacts on their wellbeing and academic performance, after all.

Consider safety, affordability, and commute times above all else, and you’ll soon have chosen the perfect neighborhood to build a family in.

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