Buying or renting a new home isn’t just about selecting a physical building: You also want to find the right neighborhood to live in. Here are some things to think about when deciding on which neighborhood will suit your needs:
1. Neighborhood Safety
Safety is a primary concern of many people, and for good reason. It’s hard to relax if you are living in a neighborhood where you’re constantly afraid of theft, vandalism or violence. When considering a neighborhood, check out crime statistics online and ask people who live in the neighborhood about its safety.
It’s hard to live in a neighborhood that’s drab or poorly maintained: Just looking out the window can make you depressed. Pay attention to neighborhood architecture, green space and general upkeep during your home search.
Do you own a car? If so, you’ll want to live in an area where it is easy to park. One way to manage this is to rent or buy a place that has a garage or dedicated parking. Otherwise, pay attention to the availability of street parking. This is particularly true if you, or frequent visitors have mobility issues. Keep in mind that the cost of vandalism to your car, as well as parking tickets, can easily offset cheap rents.
Speaking of transportation, if you don’t have a car you’ll want to make sure that you are living somewhere where it’s easy to get around. Look for public transit stops and stations, as well as sidewalks and bike paths.
Unless you really like driving everywhere you go, check out the businesses and services available in the neighborhood before committing. Its up to you to decide what amenities matter to you, but here are some things that people often like to have nearby:
- Urgent care clinic
- Bank branch
- Post office
- Fitness center
- Grocery store
- Swimming pool
- Dog park
- Gas station
- Bars and restaurants
- 24 hour convenience store
6. Proximity to Your Workplace
A long commute can feel like a waste. Choose a neighborhood close to where you work.
If You Have Children
Parents and caretakers have additional concerns when selecting a neighborhood. Here are a few of them:
1. School Quality
Parents and caretakers of school-aged children are often very concerned about school quality. While private school is an option for some people, many families with children prioritize the quality of local public schools over any other consideration when selecting a neighborhood.
2. Street Safety
In addition to concerns about crime, families with children should also be aware of street safety. Look for streets that are well lit, with both plenty of stop signs and traffic signals.
3. Access to Childcare and Children’s Facilities
If you have young children, proximity to childcare services might be an important issue for you. In addition, look for things like parks, play lots and family-friendly restaurants.