How To Choose The Right Neighborhood When You Move
You have an idea of where you’d like to buy, but you haven’t yet narrowed down which neighborhood makes the best home. Sound familiar?
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re looking for a new home.
Aside from fundamental property requirements, one of the most important things I advise my clients to do is to write down a list of their priorities. When I review the list, I can usually identify a corresponding location and discuss the key factors of that particular area— the pluses and, inevitably, the minuses of the neighborhood—so that my client can move forward with confidence.
If you’re planning a move and don’t know where to start, you can usually get an idea of whether a neighborhood is right for you based on the following 7 factors.
7 Factors To Consider When Moving To A New Neighborhood:
1. Proximity To Work, Transportation, And Shopping
How far are you willing to travel for work? What would your route to the office look like, and how much traffic is there during rush hour?
If you’re considering neighborhoods far from your job, find out what your commute would feel like. Pick one or two days to drive to work from each neighborhood where you’re thinking of buying, and see if the travel time is compatible with your schedule.
This goes hand in hand with proximity to transportation; if you’re thinking of purchasing a home far away from work, family, or other commitments, it may be beneficial to live close to transportation.
Lastly, think about conveniences like shopping and entertainment. Do you cook or dine out most nights? How would these habits be affected if you were to live in a given neighborhood?
Again, one of the best ways to answer these questions to set aside time to explore each area where you’re thinking of buying a home.
2. Local School Ratings
Whether or not you have children in school, your home’s value and property taxes will be affected by schools in the area. Research public schools near the neighborhoods you’re most interested in, and avoid areas with underperforming schools when possible.
If you are a parent, it may be worthwhile to research nearby private schools as well.
GreatSchools.org is an excellent resource for finding more detailed information about different schools in each neighborhood.
3. Climate And Weather In The Area
Whether you’re moving 5 miles away or across the country, research the climate and how your new home could potentially be affected. Find out if the area you’re interested in has extreme summers or winters.
Learn what to expect during each different season and how different weather patterns could affect a property. Depending on where you’d like to buy, you may be required to purchase flood insurance for your home. This information will be important when you’re determining your total budget.