Moving is an exciting time, but there are also many crucial factors to consider. Aside from finding a new home to rent or purchase, vetting new schools for your kids, and adjusting to a new job there’s also the matter of finding the right neighborhood to move to. Even if you’re moving to a sprawling metropolis with many things to do, you’ll most likely spend the majority of your time in your immediate neighborhood. Everything from grabbing coffee to your weekend grocery run, your neighborhood is an essential part of your life. This is why it’s wise to select your neighborhood home very carefully. While the criteria to consider varies from person to person, here are four basic factors to evaluate when choosing the perfect neighborhood to call home.
Personality & Vibe
Yes neighborhoods can have personalities too! It’s important to find a part of town that reflects your lifestyle and interests – this way, you won’t have to commute far just to enjoy yourself. For example, if you’re a young professional you’ll most likely want a trendier neighborhood with lots of vibrant coffee shops, restaurants and bars. If you’re a culture buff, art galleries and museums are a must-have for you. And if you have young children, a neighborhood with lots of parks and family-friendly activities will be a great fit for you. Websites such as TripAdvisor.com and Popsugar.com are great resources for finding fun things to do in a particular neighborhood. For information such as crime index and general neighborhood stats, check out www.city-data.com
It doesn’t matter how fun and affordable a neighborhood may be, living in an unsafe neighborhood is not worth the risk. When choosing a neighborhood home, select a place that affords you the freedom to take an evening stroll without having to look over your shoulder. If you have young children, take a look to see if there are any major roads that may be difficult to cross with children in tow. The peace of mind that your children are playing in a safe environment is priceless. Websites such as neighborhoodscout.com and mylocalcrime.com are credible resources to obtain statistics such as theft and violent crime rates.
The last thing anyone wants after a long day at work is to sit in traffic for another hour or more. This is why doing a test-run from your workplace to your potential new neighborhood is a good idea. While a long commute time may be bearable if the neighborhood has everything else you’re looking for, a test-drive can still prevent a nasty surprise on the first day to work from your new home. The national average for work commute is around 25 minutes, so if it takes you longer than that to commute from your new neighborhood, you may want to consider other options.
Cost of Living
The notion of getting what you pay for is definitely true when you’re choosing a neighborhood. While it’s important to select a safe and enjoyable place to buy or rent a home, it’s also important to consider your budget. Costs to consider in a neighborhood are things such as gas prices, tuition and affordable grocery and convenience stores. While many believe that the only factors to consider are home rental/purchase prices, we underestimate how much of our major spending is done in our immediate neighborhood. Check out www.areavibes.com to calcuate an overall livability score of a neighborhood based on cost of living and other important metrics.
Finding the right neighborhood to move to can be a catalyst for great things in your life. It offers opportunities to meet new people and enjoy amazing experiences. While no neighborhood is perfect, with the proper research and resources, finding the perfect neighborhood for you is definitely within reach. Happy Neighborhood Exploring!