Updated: Jan 5
You’ve decided it’s time to move—congratulations! Once you’ve narrowed down your location options and chosen a place to settle, your next step is to determine what neighborhood works best for you and your family. There are many factors that come into play when looking for your next neighborhood, including your lifestyle, job location, and budget. Although it might seem daunting, taking the time to build a neighborhood wishlist will help you flesh out exactly what you want in your new home. Grab a pencil and piece of paper, and walk through these tips to make your neighborhood wishlist.
Consider Your Lifestyle
Think about your lifestyle. Are you more of a night owl or an early bird? Do you prefer having nightlife close by, or would you rather have a quiet, private neighborhood? Even if you fall in love with a home, you have to remember that you will live beyond its four walls. If you aren’t in love with the neighborhood it’s in, you’ll set yourself up for potential disappointment in the long run. Consider your day-to-day schedule and preferences, and make sure that your next neighborhood supports it.
Keep Your Commute in Mind
Your work commute will be a major factor in choosing a location. When looking at neighborhoods, a quick check on Mapquest or Google Maps will preview your potential routes and commute times (Google Maps even lets you check commute times for specific times of day). Whether you want to live a walkable neighborhood or in an area close to public transit, try making a few test commutes to see how you like it. Knowing your commute preferences will help you narrow down your options.
Understand the Needs of Your Family (Or Future Family!)
If you have children or plan to have children in the future, the quality of schools is one of the first things you’ll want to check. Be sure to research elementary, middle, and high schools in each neighborhood you’re considering, and familiarize yourself with district boundaries. Along with a good school district, you want to make sure that you’re next home is in a safe area. Use crime mapping services, tour the neighborhood at different times of day, and talk to locals. The more informed you are, the more likely you’ll be able to make a choice that feels safe for you and your family.
Look At The Market Conditions, Property Taxes, And Affordability
The most important thing when making a neighborhood wishlist is being realistic with your budget. Buying a home is one of the largest investments you’ll make, so it’s important that you can afford the home you want in the right neighborhood for you. Understanding the market conditions, property taxes, and affordability of a neighborhood is crucial when buying a home. This is where a knowledgeable local real estate agent can step in. We can answer your questions about the rise and fall of property value, recent developments, new business, city regulations, and other components that will affect your financial decision.
Whether you’re moving down the street or across the country, every neighborhood is different. Taking the time to create a wishlist and research potential neighborhoods will help you determine if an area is right for you. And while there are a plethora of online tools for researching neighborhoods at your disposal, a local real estate agent can provide a more nuanced picture that crime statistics often overlook.
Have questions about a specific neighborhood? Give me a call!