Finding a good neighborhood to move into can be difficult. There are many factors to consider when deciding to move into your dream house or apartment. It’s important to have a clear understanding of your needs before you commit to a move.
If you want to move but aren’t sure about your destination, or don’t know which factors to consider, then this article will help you out.
For example, for moving into a new home, you have to consider its location, the commute to work, and the availability of top-notch schools and other community services. Zillow lists that the average commute time in 2017 was 25.4 minutes, while Google states that the average daily commute is 45 minutes.
Over the course of a year, those extra minutes spend in commuting could add up to days off you could be spending with your family.
Before moving to a new location, ask yourself: What is your dream destination like? What’s your budget? What kind of areas are best for families to live?
These are some questions that should cross your mind before moving into a new neighborhood.
However, if you are required to urgently move out and find a new location because your landlord just tendered you a notice, then you can be forgiven for making decisions on the fly.
But if you don’t want to rush it, you can safely put away your belongings at a storage unit while you scour for the ideal properties to move into. If you are in Louisiana, you can rent storage units Shreveport, and feel assured that your belongings will be safe while you are out searching for their new home.
If you are moving into a new community and don’t know where to start looking for potential homes, one great way to get started is by visiting the local real estate office.
They can show you all the available properties in the area and let you know how high or low the asking prices are. Many realtors will even conduct an analysis of the current market conditions, so that they can give their clients an idea of what’s available in the area and how much they should expect to pay for their desired property.
Another great option is to use online tools, such as Zillow or Trulia, which allow users to search for homes based on their desired location, price range, size, and many other customizable criteria.
These websites also offer detailed maps with information on schools, parks, grocery stores, and other places of interest, so that the users can get an idea of what type of lifestyle they might expect to lead if they decide to move into a particular neighborhood.
Take a gander
Drive around in the areas that interest you and look at the houses, apartments, and other buildings. What kind of condition are they in? Is there trash on the sidewalks? Are there lots of children playing outside? Are there sidewalks or just bare dirt where people walk? Are there any homes in of repairs? If the houses or buildings aren’t maintained well, it could be an indication of problems that exist in the community.
Talk to people who live in the area or who have lived there in the past. Ask them what they liked or disliked about living there. Do they have anything bad to say about their neighbors or their local government? Do they like shopping at certain stores or restaurants? If so, which ones?
Safety and security
Drive around at night and look for any broken windows or doors left ajar. These are signs of neglect, which is often associated with crime — although not always. However, if you notice these signs in more than one house or building on a street, it is a surefire indication that you should get a move on and look elsewhere.
Check the crime statistics for the area you’re considering moving into. Find out how many crimes were reported over the last year and the types of crimes committed most often (i.e., break-ins, robberies, domestic violence).
Thriving community life
Make sure the community has access to amenities, such as parks, shopping areas, entertainment venues, and public transportation options. You want to be able to get around easily and have plenty of options when it comes time to unwind.
Look at local demographics to determine if there are many young families with children in your neighborhood, or are there mostly seniors living there?
If you find the time, take a stroll in and around the neighborhood during the day and night times, and as well as on the weekends and weekdays. If there are lots of kids running around playing ball or riding bikes in front of their own as well as other people’s houses, while cars drive by at all hours of the day or night, it is usually a good indication that the neighborhood hosts a tightly knit community.
When you are researching neighborhoods, it is important that you do not just look at the outer façade, but make sure you have taken a good look inside as well. Take note of any potential repairs in the house and talk to the neighbors about the condition the house was in before.
Local schools and parks
Do parents think their kids’ schools are good? Are there parks nearby where families can spend leisure time or kids can play? Are there community recreation centers where kids can meet other kids? Ask friends who live nearby what they know about the area’s public services — especially if they have young ones of their own.
Good schooling is important, and you should consider the quality of schools before you move into a neighborhood.
The commute times
If you have to drive an hour or more each day to work, your commute will eat into your day and deplete you of energy. Compare commute times to work before deciding on a neighborhood to move into.
If you have to drive across town to get to work every day, it can take a stressful toll on your mental as well as physical health.
If you are checking out a property in a neighborhood you like, but you are told the traffic can be busy in rush hours, look for alternative routes on Google Maps.
Picking a new neighborhood is a task where you have to consider several factors before you can decide on moving into a particular neighborhood. The tips above should help you get started on this journey, however, and make neighborhood hunting a pleasant experience.