How To Choose the Best Neighborhood To Live in: 15 Useful Tips
Deciding on a neighborhood is almost as important as deciding on a home or apartment. It must be safe, with low crime rates, inexpensive, and full of friendly neighbors. You may also be looking for playgrounds, a decent school district, and other amenities, depending on your family’s needs.
If you’re thinking about buying a property, remember that you’re not just buying a house; you’re investing in the location. A good neighborhood is necessary for your house value to remain stable and for you to have a quality life. Here are some tips to take into consideration before deciding on a new neighborhood.
How To Choose the Best Neighborhood
1. Decide What You Want in a Neighborhood
First and foremost, consider exactly what you’re looking for in a neighborhood. You’ll probably have to make sacrifices, so prioritize the “must-haves” and list the “would-like-to-haves” last. What does your current neighborhood lack? Do you want to live on the waterfront? Do you want to live where there is busy nightlife?
2. Look for a Neighborhood That You Can Afford
Select a region in which you can afford to purchase the type of house you desire. Determine an approximate budget. It’s also a good idea to figure out how much you can afford to borrow if you’ll need a mortgage. Then look at property websites to see what you can buy in different places for your budget.
3. Choose the Type of Properties You’re Interested in
Do you want to buy a new home? Are you interested in period homes? How many bedrooms do you want? Do you want a house that has its own front door? Once you have a clear idea, check if the neighborhood you’re interested in offers these kinds of properties.
4. Look for the Employment Options
Are you employed? Are you going to look for a new job when you move into your new house? If you’re also looking for a job, you may want to check the areas where it’s easy to access larger job markets. Consider the options for your family members too.
5 . Find Out If It’s a Child-Friendly Neighborhood
Do you have children? If not yet, are you planning to have children? If yes, ensure that you are relocating to a child-friendly area. Living in an area with a lot of other families is a good idea since it will ensure that there are plenty of amenities for families, such as parks and play spaces. Also, check out the schooling options.
Even if you don’t have children, purchasing a home in a neighborhood with good schools can be a wise investment because future buyers may have children.
6. Locate Your Favorite Streets
If you’ve made up your mind about a neighborhood, it’s time that you get specific about the street you want to live in. In cities, one side of the suburb can be totally different from the others. Walking to the metro every day for 15 minutes is different from a five-minute walk.
If you want to buy property in the countryside, there are a few things you should take into consideration. As life in the city might be different from one street to the street, living in one village might be very different from the next.
- Is there any public transportation available?
- Are you willing to drive twice a day to get to work or school?
- Is there a nearby train station?
7. Explore the Area at Different Times
Examine the area at different times. Driving through will give you a sense of what life is like in the neighborhood. Are there enough parking lots? Is there any interaction between neighbors and children? Is it well-lit on the streets at night? These visual cues might help you figure out whether or not you’ll fit in.
8. Spend Some Time in the Neighborhood
Spend days exploring the location. You’ll most likely spend years there, so it’s well worth the effort to make sure you’re satisfied wherever you end up.
- Visit parks, supermarkets, and stores
- Check if there is a large number of children running around
- Try the local transportation
9. Speak to Local People
This is one of the best ways of getting familiar with a neighborhood. Speak to the waiter in a restaurant or gas station attendant. Ask as many questions as you can. Locals will usually give you the most objective review of a neighborhood.
10. Beware of the Red Flags
Keep an eye out for warning signals that show the neighborhood isn’t good. Are there any abandoned buildings? Have you noticed any vandalism? Can you spot a lot of “For Sale” or “For Rental” signs? If the answer is, you might want to look at other neighborhoods.
11. Learn the Value of Housing
Find out how much houses in the area are worth right now, and then ask a real estate agent how that compares to the average value five and ten years ago. How much has the value of the property risen? Is the neighborhood any different now? This will give you a good idea about the housing market.
12. Inquire About the Prospective Developments
Future developments will alter a neighborhood’s character, raise taxes, and increase traffic. It’s a good idea to research the neighborhood’s long-term prospects before deciding whether or not that view is right for you and your family.
13. Listen to the Sounds
Pay attention to the sounds. Is there a lot of noise from the highway, train tracks, or the airport? Beware as these noises can be very disturbing, especially in the early morning. Also, check if there is any noise from bars and restaurants nearby.
14. Make a Search on Crime Rates
Enter the city’s name and “crime statistics by neighborhood” into a search engine. Depending on the size of the city, this should yield some data. Smaller towns may simply have generic information, whereas larger cities have thorough crime reports.
15. Still Unsure? Why Not Rent First?
Deciding where to live and purchasing a home is a major choice that should not be taken lightly. Especially if you’re buying in a foreign country, don’t hurry. If you have doubts about a certain neighborhood, you can go with a rental house as a start. Live in the area for a while and see if you like it. Once you feel that you’ve adapted, you can buy a house there.
These helpful hints will assist you in making an informed selection when buying your future home. Are you a first-time homebuyer? Before leaving, make sure you check out our House Viewing Tips article. Good luck with your search.
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