When you are moving to a new location, choosing a neighborhood comes with its own challenges coupled with moving stress ahead. Because you are not familiar with the new location, selecting the best for your family requires a lot work and research.
Let’s face it; where you purchase your home or rent is as important as the home itself. That is why we’ve gathered a step-by-step guide to assist you to locate the right neighborhood before you begin to search for your dream home.
Where we decide to live and start life is as important as the home in which we gather our lives. A happy home is usually so, due to the physical location of the home as well as feel. As homebuyers or renters, it is often important to understand that you are not just buying or rent a home, but in an actual sense, you are buying or rent a part of your local area.
We tend to get much invested in the fantasy of how our dream will look, but we also have to focus on all that surrounds our dream home.
How can you select the ideal family-friendly neighborhood?
If you plan to move to a new city, state, or even country, remember these tips as you find an easy, comfortable neighborhood that matches your family lifestyle and budget.
1. Ask the Proper Questions
Ask yourself what feature you consider most important in a neighborhood. What defines a special neighborhood to you? Don’t forget that you are not only thinking about your personal preferences but also about your household members.
Do you prefer:
- Older neighborhoods or newer growth?
- Calm streets or busier, active area?
- Walking to amenities?
- Closeness to shopping and restaurants?
- Closed community or anonymity?
- Trees and parks?
As you think about these questions, put the needs of each family member into consideration. Do you have younger kids who will need to walk to school? If not all family member has a car, will some of you need to access public transportation?
2. Use the Benefit of Online Resources
Begin your search for the right neighborhoods online. The place you like to move to is already clear to you, begin at NeighborhoodScout. These resources offer basic information for free; you can get more comprehensive reports on schools, crime, and more.
Street Advisor is also a free service that includes neighborhood reviews written by residents of the place. Online neighborhood guides are also available at Airbnb and local realtor’s websites.
3. Check your New Neighborhood or Town
Create some time to spend in the towns you are interested in. Get familiar with the feel and the terrain of the land. This may be difficult to do if you are in the middle of a work-related move, but if possible, you can try to walk around the downtown area and drive across the neighborhoods.
If you have kids with fixed weekend schedules, this may be a lot difficult to do, but it can also be important to find the locations that offer the best for you and your household members. If possible, visit a local restaurant, perform some window shopping and interact with the locals to better understand what actors they think to make their town so special.
4. Consider Renting before Purchasing
To get a better sense of where you and your household would be happy for the long term, try using Zillow or contact residents that are ready to give you advice or follow your instinct. However, it is not possible that you are completely certain that your new neighborhood is the right option for you until you’ve lived there for some time. That is why renting your first place in a new location is always a good idea, especially if you are relocating from a far distance and are not used to your new city or region.
If you are buying a home, renting in a new location is, often considered as trying before you buy. You would likely just need to experience one lease cycle (whether 6 months or a year), based on the landlord, to figure out whether you want to remain in the immediate environment for a long time. And if later choose to find a more suitable location, you won’t be concerned with a home that you need to sell, and fast.
5. Evaluate Other Factors of Cost of Living
Other factors of cost of living like fuel and transportation costs, utility rates, healthcare costs, miscellaneous taxes, and food prices are also important. Some of these factors are somewhat the same across state regions, restricting the advantage of selecting one neighborhood or community over another inside a certain commuting area. For instance, local and regional variation in prices of gas is based majorly on state taxes.
Regardless of whether you reside in a state that charges high tax, your gas will possibly be higher than in a low-tax state. According to AAA’s Fuel Gauge, a useful resource for up-to-date, state-level info on gas prices; the median price for a gallon of normal fuel is over $1 higher in California, a high-tax state than in Wyoming and South Carolina, both low-tax states. GasBuddy is your best resource for city or regional code-level data for gas rice. Some cost of living factors vary based on inside the commuting areas.
For instance, some neighborhoods charge local income taxes, while others don’t. Some communities, especially urban condominium complexes and amenity-rich suburban developments, charge homeowners’ association (HOA) fees for maintenance and improvements of common areas. Healthcare and insurance costs are surprisingly short distances as well. For a clearer picture of living costs in a certain area and to compare with other locations, check the cost of living index from the Council for Community and Economic Research.
Check our Best Cost Of Living Calculator 2022
6. Research the Schools
Good schools are important if you have kids. For general information, including enrollment statistics and student/teacher ratios, visit the website of the National Center for Education Statistics. You can obtain a more comprehensive view of local schools through Greatschools.org where there are reviews from parents and students. The website award grade to schools based on the performance of students. After you’ve completed your online research, arrange a tour of the schools you are looking into. Some schools will allow you to contact other parents who can answer any extra questions you may have.
7. Consider your Commute
The amount of love you have for your new home doesn’t matter if you can’t reach your destination in time. Before you choose a place, check the real-time traffic situation along your commute in peak hours using an online map like Google Maps. Most online maps will also offer an option that indicates transit routes, including stops. If you would rather walk to your destination, check Walkscore.com.
Communities are rated based on walkability on a scale of up to 100 by the website. Bike scores are also indicated there, including information on public transportation. How long will it take me to get to work? Will you be commuting with or against the traffic? Is the route convenient to navigate? It is a nice idea to try the route in rush hour to determine where it is manageable.
How close are you to convenient stores, cafes, grocery stores, and restaurants? If there are bars in proximity, how noisy will the area be on the weekends? If you are someone that loves to always get involved with the community, check the closest houses of worship, libraries, art centers, and other centers of activity. Try checking out the local websites, newspapers, or bulletin boards to determine what is happening in the area.
9. Consider Safety
Safety is one of the largest factors that many parents look for when relocating to a new neighborhood. You want safety for your child, especially when walking home from school or going to the nearby park. Aside from checking online and going around the neighborhood, you can put more effort and check FBI statistics on the neighborhood’s crime rates.
10. Uncover the Character of the Community
Different people with different expectations on where they live; so community behavior is subjective. But that doesn’t imply that it is not important to assess the wrong aspects of neighborhoods of interest and determine where you best fit in.
11. Public Life
Do local religious institutions, businesses, and other organizations host public events like block parties and parades? If you have an interest in meeting and being in proximity to your neighbors, such events are a better way to do so. Check the official neighborhood association website to better understand the type, tone, and frequency of the events.
12. Demographics and Family-Friendliness
Who resides in the area, and what types of businesses are common? If you are 20+ searching for a bustling nightlife, a lot of bars and clubs might be a better thing. If you are raising small kids, you may prefer a calmer, safer area, even if it is a bit expensive to live there.
How do locals interact? In some locations, it might be seen as rude not to interact with your neighbors, be up-to-date with their business, or render support to those in need. In other locations, people are highly introverted and less supportive, choosing to operate their business and interact on the low, or not at all, with their neighbors. Your type of personality and lifestyle will determine the end of the spectrum you choose.
The best way to understand the friendliness of a location is to likely visit in person, although checking user reports on home-search websites, such as Trulia Zillow can provide useful hints. These intangibles might not affect your budget directly, but they couldn’t affect your entire happiness, productivity, as well as your (or children’s) safety.
14. Future Development
Upcoming developments transform a neighborhood, increase traffic, and increase taxes. It is a brilliant idea to research the future possibility of the neighborhood than choose, if that outlook will be perfect for you and your family.
Moving to another community can be an indifferent experience. On one hand, exploring a new place, making new friends, and cultivating new opportunities are exciting. On the other, leaving friends, special memories, and loved ones behind can be painful. The perfect community or neighborhood for you and your family is the one that comes with lesser stress and offers the required security. This can make a significant difference in your overall well-being in the neighborhood.
We hoped these tips will go a long way in choosing the right neighborhood for your move. Whenever you are ready to move, our reputable state to state moving companies is ready to help make the move easy and affordable.