What exactly should you consider before making up your mind to move to any new neighborhood?
Moving to a new neighborhood often seems like starting life all over again. You’ll have to keep up with new friends, new neighbors, perhaps a new job, new business opportunities, and a new school for your kid. You’ll probably have a new reason to be happier.
But things may turn out differently if you moved to the wrong neighborhood. So how can you pick the right new neighborhood? here are key things to lookout for.
Key things you should consider before moving to any neighborhood
Pick your fancy – historic or a new development?
Would you rather settle for a new development neighborhood on an historic one?
Newer developments often have modern features but they are always far from the city center.
Historic neighborhoods can boast of tons of characters but they often need lots of repair work and are overseen by community associations with stern standards.
Just before you start searching, pick where you’ll focus on. It’ll be easier to streamline your search to the type of neighborhood you want.
What will your perfect new neighborhood look like?
Before you start searching for the right neighborhood, sit back and define what exactly you like about what you call a perfect neighborhood.
Consider things that you really like that would make your life more interesting and make you happier. Make a list of the “must haves” and the “would-like-to-have.” With that, you’ll have a crystal clear picture of the type of neighborhood you’re looking for.
What type of home are you looking for?
The type of home you’re interested in is important as you go about looking for a suitable neighborhood. Are you interested in a townhouse or an apartment or co-op? If you know exactly what you want, it’ll be easier for you to narrow down your search. If you don’t know exactly what you want, it’ll be difficult for you to find it.
Is school a factor?
If you have kids, or intend to have one soon, one of the most crucial things you’ll have to research before moving to any new neighborhood is the school system. Living in a neighborhood with a sought-after school system raises your property value. Also, ensuring your child gets education in a reputable school should be among your top priority.
Do you own a car or are you willing to get one? Are you willing to drive to work daily, walk or take a mass transit? You need to make up your mind on how you intend to commute. If you don’t enjoy driving long distance to work every other day, get a home that is closer to your office.
What are you missing right now?
Why exactly are you leaving your new neighborhood? What are you missing that you’ll like to have in a new neighborhood?
If you would love to live in a waterfront but presently landlocked, consider putting that down on your list.
If you’re a movie junkie and love theaters, make sure its a priority on your list. Look for features and places that make up for whatever is missing in your present neighborhood.
What are the things you wouldn’t want in a neighborhood?
If you hate the noise of local festivals or the late night noise of a local bar or a club house, avoid any neighborhood with such features.
Do you enjoy taking a walk?
If you would like your home to be within walking distance of local stores, bars and recreational centers, consider indicating that on your list. Also, if you enjoy taking long walks in the morning, evening or any time of the day, consider a safe neighborhood with sidewalks or long safe roads.
Streamline your search
If you intend to move within the same city, you’d probably know about some of the nearby neighborhoods or have information about them. Choose the neighborhood that best matches your ideal neighborhood profile.
But if you intend to move to a new city, you may have to dig deeper to get all the crucial information about the new neighborhoods.
To make it easier to find your ideal neighborhood, narrow down your search to a precise town. For instance, if you work in the east side of town, start your search there and then zero in on a few blocks radius. This will make it easier for you to streamline your search.
Get precise details
Once you make up your mind on the area of the city you would really love to be in, start digging up information. One easy resource you can take advantage of is the internet. Search for details about the neighborhood online. You can ask local real estate agents for recommendations and compile all the background information you can lay your hands. Here are other key things you should consider:
You should get a guide book and consider checking out the city’s convention and tourism bureau’s web site to see all the fascinating places in the city or a precise neighborhood.
Find out if the new neighborhood you’re looking at has a neighborhood association. If they do, find out about their restrictions, laws, yearly fees etc.
One easy way to research the crime statistics of a neighborhood is to visit real estate websites.
Many of such sites have statistics that indicate how the zip code’s crime rates of a precise neighborhood measure up to the national average.
Parks and Recreation centers
Before picking any new neighborhood, you should find out the distance between the neighborhood, local parks and recreation centers. Should you love movies, find out about the most preferred theater in town. Or perhaps you enjoy soccer, you may want to know when the local soccer team is having their next big match.
Visit the Neighborhood
Once you’re through with the background check, visit neighborhoods that match your description. There is no better way to learn about the neighborhoods than when you visit. You can take a walk, see things for yourself, ask residents questions and most importantly take advantage of your senses and put them into use.
Imagine yourself in the neighborhood: imagine how your life could turn out once you’ve moved into the neighborhood. Consider your daily routine. If you enjoy a morning latte, look around if there are coffee shops. If you enjoy taking your dog out on a walk or go jogging, will the neighborhood be safe enough for that? You’ll be happier in a neighborhood where you can do the things you enjoy.
Observe the neighborhood at different times of the day: visit the neighborhood at different times of the day. Do the roads turn into parking lots during rush hours or after school? Observe if people are using grills or decks in the evening.
Also, see if neighbors are socializing or if people are keeping to themselves. See if the streets are well lit at night or if its pitch dark outside. All these clues will help you make up your mind if you will fit into the neighborhood or not.
Don’t forget your first impressions: what are the first things you notice about the new neighborhood? Are the houses in good conditions?
What about the streets, do they have curb appeal?
How do the shops and restaurants look like?
Will you be glad to take your friends from a different neighborhood out for dinner in these restaurants?
Consider all these things and any other thing you see before you make up your mind.
Taste: You don’t have to taste all the food in the local restaurant – in fact taste is not just about food. But you can assess a neighborhood and make up your mind if it matches your taste for an ideal neighborhood. Will you be proud if some of your old friends decide to spend the weekend with you in the neighborhood and can you guarantee their safety? If the entire neighborhood looks good but you don’t feel right about it, let it go, search for another.
Be on the lookout for warning signs: look around for signs that indicate the neighborhood is in trouble. Be on the lookout for abandoned buildings or vandalism. Do you see a lot of “For Sale” signs or “rentals” if the neighborhood’s value and safety goes downhill so does your property.
Talk to your future neighbors: it will do a lot of good if you ask your future neighbors about what they like and enjoy in the neighborhood. Also, ask about things they don’t like and the changes they would love to see. Find out about the favorite places they enjoy hanging out. If the neighbors reacted rudely, don’t take it personal, they simply won’t be good neighbors.
Stop and pay attention: while the sounds of nature such as singing birds may be pleasant, some other sounds may be irritating. Pay attention to sounds from clubs and bars, airports, train tracks, highways, schools etc. if you can’t tolerate any of these noises stay away from areas with such noise.
Ensure the local school has a standard reputation: even if you don’t have kids in school take some time out to visit the local school. While high ratings are good for schools, paying a personal visit can reveal a whole lot more. You will find it easier to sell your house later if the schools really look nice.
Talk to residents: visit the local gym, park, or recreation centers and talk to some residents. Ask about what makes the neighborhood a great place to be and what changes are they expecting to make the neighborhood even better. You can learn a great deal by asking simple questions.
Close the search
After you’ve picked a specific neighborhood, you still have to find the right house. As, expected, you’ve narrowed down your search to a few streets. Close your search by finding out how much you can truly afford and compare your loan option. Think about what you want in a home, make a list of your description and stick to it during house hunting. Here are green home features every home buyer should know about.
Hire a professional moving company
If you’re moving to few blocks away from your present home, you can consider a DIY move. But if you’re moving to a new neighborhood or across state lines, consider hiring a moving company. You can find out how to pick the right long distance moving company. You can plan your moving with us, its 100% free. We provide up to six free moving quotes so you can compare costs before making up your mind to hire any mover.