When it comes to picking the right neighborhood, it really is a very personal decision. You might already know you're a city dweller or with kids on the horizon, you believe it's time to move to the suburbs for the schools and open space?
When you're looking for the right neighborhood, you want to give yourself enough time because it's important to consider all the different factors. It's important to understand all the things that have influenced who you are. And this means what's right for your best friend, might not be the best neighborhood for you and your family.
Here are some of the most important things to consider and if you want to explore further, you can get a copy of my Discovering What Your Dream Home Needs by clicking here.
- Our childhood memories influence our lives as adults.
- The quality offered by a community, from schools and safety to the environment.
- Accessibility to community resources we want access to, based on current and future lifestyle choices.
- Balancing lifestyle versus financial the investment you make in a house, considering things like how long you expect to stay in our home.
Researching to Find the Right Neighborhood
With the Internet it's easier to research different towns from the comfort of your home, before traveling to search for a new house. Often your new location is determined by a job, or maybe you're looking to relocate close to your grandchildren? These factors will influence how you weigh the many qualities that will define the right neighborhood for you.
- Financial factors – housing cost, availability of public transportation.
- Community services – schools, health care services and shopping.
- Community quality – housing, safety, population diversity and green space.
- Cultural activities – restaurants, theaters, museums, sports and nightlife.
Do you watch the HGTV show, Love It or List It? Many homeowners on the show don't want to leave their neighborhood, even when it means they can't get more living space unless they finish the basement, attic or put an addition on their home. Defining the right neighborhood is hard to put into words and yet, you know when where you live is the right neighborhood for your family.
So once you know what you want in your community, you might search the Internet to find the things that would turn your current home into the “perfect” home. It's also possible your research will lead to starting a new school, a new non-profit or other community organization that will enrich your life … because women need that sense of community (learn about women as caregivers).
Research & Be Sure You Buy the Right Neighborhood
When you find the perfect house with all the features you want, it's a good idea to do a little more research to insure it's the right neighborhood, one you'll be happy living in for years to come.
Here are a few tips for checking out the neighborhood:
- Visit the neighborhood at different times of the day, and different days of the week. If you expect to see children playing outdoors, confirm your expectations on school afternoons and weekends.
- Talk to neighbors to learn about the neighborhood and any potential problems like a troublesome neighbor. Ask open ended questions and let them talk, to discover things you might not think to search for.
- Use the Internet to look at the house and neighborhood from a distance. Google and Bing have “street” maps where you can view the house you want to buy, and potentially find a problem.
- Check police records for crime statistics like robberies, vehicle thefts and violent crime. This is important because the neighbors you talk to might not be aware of incidents a block or 2 away.
- Search for community information online. Check out the local newspaper and look for blogs that share local activities like sports, fund raisers and events to celebrate the community.
Hopefully by now you've realized how important it is to research more than the house you're buying, which is one reason why I created my free report, Rediscover Your Dream Home, can help you figure out what you're missing in your home today. There's a lot more that goes into the real estate phrase, it's all about location. You want to pick the right neighborhood for you and your family, and if you love where you live but something's missing, maybe it's your opportunity to make a difference?
Note: While researching this article, I found a great article on New York City neighborhoods, The Most Livable Neighborhoods in New York. In fact I've learned from my mastermind group which meets in New York City, that picking their homes is less about the house and much more about the neighborhood and alternatives for commuting to work.