Moving to a new neighborhood can make you happier, fulfilled, unlock more and better opportunities that you’ve always wanted – or the new neighborhood can get you bored!
You can enjoy every moment in your new neighborhood from the very first day if you’ve discovered key things about the neighborhood to keep you motivated and excited.
To make it easier for you to enjoy your new neighborhood, I’ve compiled a list of ten important things you should find out about any neighborhood before moving in.
10 Things You Ought To Know About Your New Neighborhood
1. Location of parks, theaters, and recreation spots
Moving to a new neighborhood can make you feel lonely or bored if you’re a total stranger. One easy way to make new friends is to visit parks and recreation spots. They create an avenue for people to meet, have fun and exercise.
Before moving to your new neighborhood, find out if they have any park, playground or recreation center. If they do, make sure you know where it is located. After you’ve moved, visit the park or recreation center. You’ll probably meet people and perhaps make new friends as you have fun and exercise.
If you love movies, don’t hesitate to find out about theaters in your new neighborhood. Find out what theaters are the most popular and well loved by the neighborhood’s movie fans. Also, if you have kids, they can make new friends whenever they visit the theaters – this will make it easier for them to settle into the new neighborhood.
2. Investigate the neighborhood’s schools and educational data
If you’re planning to have a family or if you already have a child, you’ll want to find the best schools in your new neighborhood. One easy way to do this is to use Great Schools, a site that can help you find good schools in a specific neighborhood and direct you to schools within a specific neighborhood.
Great Schools will give you relevant tips on how to assess a school. Also, the site provides tips for steering tricky school systems to get the information you require as well as tools that will walk you through what “bad” or “good” schools look like.
Also, you can use Neighborhood Scout’s school district ratings page to find the best public school in your new neighborhood. They provide aggregate data such as students’ achievement, tests scores and class sizes.
Another free resource you can take advantage of is School Digger. The site offers free and complete metrics on school systems and districts around the country. You can use the site to investigate schools in your new neighborhood before you move. You wouldn’t want your child to end up in a school with poor rating or a track record of poor academic performance.
3. Find out about the neighborhood’s crime rate
How safe is your new neighborhood?
There are several ways you can find out about a neighborhood’s crime rate before you move in. Here is a simple guide:
Visit and talk to residents
If you have enough time, visit the neighborhood and consider an overnight stay. But it’s important for you to visit at all times of the day. As you move around, pay attention to safety of sidewalks and roads. Staying over at night will give you the chance to find out if it is safe and quiet when it is dark outside.
During the day, talk to people in the neighborhood, people working on their lawn, people you meet on the sidewalks, or people you meet at the parks or recreation centers. Ask them about crime rate and how safe the area is for families and kids. Also, ask if the neighborhood has a watch program and what steps the residents are taking to promote safety. Hopefully, many people will be kind enough to give you honest feedback.
Research the crime rate online
One of the easiest ways you can research a neighborhood’s crime rate is on the internet. You can start with the city’s police department website. The site often contains more detailed information about neighborhood’s crime rate.
If you are concerned about sex offenders, FamilyWatchdog.us is one relevant resource you should use. The site combines data from the state sex offender registry and let you see if your neighborhood has any registered sex offender nearby. The website allows you sign up for alerts when any sex offender moved closer to your neighborhood.
You can compare crime statistics by address on CrimeReports.com and see crime that recently occurred in the neighborhood. While City-Data.com provides tons of data about crime rates, home sales, median income and more.
Also, NeighborhoodScout.com is a site that offers relevant information about local crime. This site narrows down crime rate by address and compares the types of crimes in neighborhoods. Even more, the site reveals the overall crime rate in a specific neighborhood and view crime rate per square mile. Some of the crime rates are for paid subscribers while others are free information.
4. Find out about the local culture
What is your new neighborhood known for?
Almost every neighborhood has a unique culture. Before you move in, take some time out to find out about the local culture, atmosphere and attractions.
Find out if there are local cultures that align with your passion and interests or if there is any culture you don’t want to be associated with. Some neighborhoods have their own festivals; block parties etc. make sure you find out about all these before you move in.
Once you know what to expect, it’ll be absolutely easier for you to settle into the community as you decide what local culture you’ll be glad to participate in. You can see what residents are saying about your new neighborhood on City – Data’s forum and you can ask questions and join in the discussions too.
5. Find out about utilities services providers
Before moving into your new home make sure all the necessary utilities are connected and functioning appropriately. As such, one of the crucial things you must find out about your new neighborhood is the available utilities service providers. You can go online and do some research about the utilities services option in the neighborhood.
Consider contacting up to three utilities service providers, compare their rates, ask if they offer incentives to new customers.
Also, read reviews about their services on the internet and ask people in the neighborhood about them.
Don’t opt for the cheapest service provider or the most expensive.
Do your best to strike a balance between quality service, value and appropriate pricing before settling for any utilities service provider.
6. Location of local hospitals and Vet clinics
If you or any of your family members require any special kind of regular medical treatment, make sure you find the required licensed expert for such treatment in your new neighborhood. Before moving in, find out about the location of the nearest local hospital to your home.
Sometimes when the unexpected happens, you can easily call 911. But at times, before the ambulance arrive, you may save the life of a friend, neighbor or a family member if you drive them down to the nearest local hospital or call the hospital’s hotline for help.
Also, if you own a pet, it is important for you to find out about vet clinics in your new neighborhood.
If possible, when you visit the neighborhood, ask other pet owners for recommendations and if you can, visit the veterinarians they recommend.
Your pet may require some shots or medication after the stress of moving especially after a long-distance move.
7. Experts’ and emergency phone numbers
Plumbers, electricians, handyman etc. are some of the people whose services you may need every now and then in your new home. Immediately after you’ve moved in, you may need to reconnect some of your large appliances with the help of an expert electrician or perhaps set up some pipes in the kitchen with the help of a plumber.
Chances are you’ll need the services of a pest control expert if your new house requires fumigation before you move in.
To avoid unnecessary delays, you should find out about the phone numbers of local experts whose services will be relevant to you when you moved in. You can get their email addresses and websites if possible.
Also, consider having the phone numbers of the local police, local fire department, Hazmat, animal control, public utilities, emergency road services and emergency medical services (EMS). It is absolutely important for you to know who to contact for help during any emergency situation.
8. Social media pages and website
Almost all neighborhoods have at least one social media account where they share important information, news and events happening in the neighborhood.
While some neighborhoods have a Facebook page, others have Twitter accounts, Instagram, Google+ pages, Pinterest pages etc. or a combination of several social media accounts. Some neighborhoods even have a website.
Before you move into your new neighborhood, find out if they have any social media account or website. Do not hesitate to follow such accounts or site for regular updates about events and news in the neighborhood. You can ask questions too and participate in the community discussions, make new friends and you can have a clear idea of the kind of people living in the neighborhood.
9. Where to find your favorite food
One of the few things you and your family may need immediately after you arrive in your new neighborhood is a tasty meal.
But where can you find your favorite food near your new home? Perhaps you like to have lunch in a Chinese restaurant or dinner with your family in a Japanese restaurant. Whatever your taste is, do not wait until after the move before you find out where you can find your favorite food.
If you follow your new neighborhood’s social media accounts or pages, you can ask some of your future neighbors where you can find popular restaurants where your favorite food is best served. You’ll find it easier to relax if you reward yourself with your favorite food and drinks after all the stress of moving.
10. Location of banks
If you’re moving to a new neighborhood in a new city, you may have to find a new checking and savings account provider – a bank. You don’t have to wait until the final moment when you need to make a transaction before you start searching for an appropriate financial institution to bank with. There are always several options to choose from but picking the right bank may seem tricky.
Once you find the bank that meets your requirements don’t hesitate to approach them to discuss your expectations. Be clear and precise about what you want and ask questions about your concerns too. Before you open any account, ensure you understand their terms and conditions.
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