Before you think about moving into a new home, you have to pick the right neighborhood. It’s easy to think that you’ve found the perfect home. But what happens if the neighborhood that the house is in doesn’t suit you? Here are four things you need to consider when choosing a neighborhood.
Safety should always be your number one priority, whether you’re living alone or with your family. You should always think about how safe the neighborhood is. One way to check the safety of a neighborhood is by searching the crime rates by neighborhood. You should also check to see if there are any police stations or hospitals nearby.
Another thing to take note of is the weather or climate in a certain area. Weather should also be a safety concern. If it rains often, you want to make sure that they have good drainage. Drive around the neighborhood to see if they’ve got proper stormwater drainage. If they don’t, chances are you’ll experience plenty of flooding. No one wants that.
Activity and Amenities
Are you looking for a quiet place, or do you want to be where all the action is? Would you rather live away from the city or right in the middle of it? Ask yourself what kind of neighborhood best suits your lifestyle? Are there any parks, malls, or groceries nearby? How about restaurants, cafes, or bars?
Do you practice any religion? If so, do they have your house of worship nearby? In rural areas, amenities are usually quite a drive. In more urban areas, stores are almost on every corner. It’s really up to you how much time you’re willing to spend to get to a certain area.
Do you mind driving 15 to 30 minutes to get to the grocery? Or would you much rather walk 5 minutes to a convenience store right across?
This means public transportation, parking fees, schools, and traffic. Does public transportation pass through your neighborhood, and at what times? Will it be easy for you to commute to work or school from here? Are there parking fees for your car? How bad is the traffic around this area?
If public transportation is something you heavily rely on, look for a neighborhood that has a good public transportation system. If you have a car, this might not be such a big issue for you. But traffic could be an issue. Take note that Boston, Washington, and Chicago are some cities with the worst traffic. So, try to find a neighborhood near where you work or where your kid goes to school. This way, you don’t have to worry so much about traffic.
Check what the current value of housing is in a certain neighborhood. Afterward, compare it to how much it cost five to 10 years ago. How much has it changed? Did it increase or decrease? And what are the chances of property taxes to increase in the coming years? It might fit your budget now. But will you be able to continue paying for it in the next five to 10 years?
Don’t forget to consider the overall cost of living. If you want to know the different costs of living per state, you can see it here. Each state is different. Some may have a higher cost of living but have a better way of living and lower insurance rates. Other states may have lower costs of living but have high insurance rates.
Not all neighborhoods are perfect. You can find a perfectly safe area with great infrastructure, but all the amenities are far away. You can find a place that is safe, near all the great malls and fits your budget. But it’s always busy and noisy during the weekends. Or maybe it’s everything you’ve ever dreamed of, but it doesn’t fit your budget. In the end, you can’t have it all. It’s up to you to choose what you’re willing to sacrifice. But never sacrifice safety, that’s for sure.