Amid the excitement of the home buying process, don’t forget to pay attention to the neighborhood. As much as you love what’s on the inside of your new home, disliking the neighborhood can make your living situation uncomfortable and potentially unbearable. Here are some tips on how to find the perfect neighborhood.
How to Find the Perfect Neighborhood
Think about your frequent stops
One of the first questions you need to ask yourself is whether you’re ok with a long commute, or whether you’d prefer to be closer to work. This will help you knock out certain areas. Additionally, for each neighborhood under consideration, write down how many minutes it takes you to get to the grocery store, the gym, your church, or a relative’s house. The proximity to the places you visit often is important as gas money/time in the car adds up.
It’s important that you move to a neighborhood where you feel safe. Especially with young children, it’s crucial that you check out the safety ratings of each neighborhood in consideration. Joining neighborhood watch pages on social media can also help you see how people in the community respond to the neighborhood safety.
Checking out the school district is a big part of how to find the perfect neighborhood. Even if you don’t have school aged children, buying a home in a good school district can raise the value of your home and can make it easier to sell in the future. Looking at graduation rates, test scores, and percentage of students who attend college are all good indicators of the school district. If you do have children, take a day to visit all the schools that they may be attending.
Check out the neighborhood at night
During the day, the sun can make a lot of neighborhoods look inviting since people are out and about and the neighborhood colors are popping. But what does the neighborhood look like on a cloudy evening? Drive each neighborhood under consideration at night so you can truly get a feel for the vibe of the neighborhood at all times.
Trust your instincts
The neighborhoods you are looking at may have great schools, and nearby parks, but none of that matters if you don’t feel comfortable living there. When touring neighborhoods, take your entire family so you can discuss all together. In the end you need to ask yourself, can I envision my family sitting on the front porch on the street? Will my dog enjoy walking on the sidewalks? Is it safe for my kids to ride their bikes in the road?
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