Boyz an’ girlz are in da’ hood. And moving to the right ‘Hood for you takes research, questioning, and a little shoe leather.
Moving to a new home isn’t all about the actual property itself. A big part of your decision should be influenced by the type and location of the neighborhood in to which you are moving.
You may have found what seems to be a dream home until you realise that it is in the middle of nowhere, your workplace is a big commute away and there are no facilities that you need in the local area.
So, before you start contacting furniture moving companies and packing up your boxes, you need to carefully consider what you are looking for in a new neighbourhood.
Your lifestyle will end up being massively impacted by the decision that you make so it is not a decision to be taken lightly. Here are a few things that you will want to think about before you make the big move.
Make a List of Priorities
The first thing that you will want to do is make a list of everything you are looking for in your ideal neighborhood. Of course, it will be very difficult to find one that matches everything perfectly, which is why you will want to put the list in priority order so you can determine what is most important to you.
Ask yourself some questions about what you are looking for in your ideal neighborhood. Are you looking for quieter streets or a lively area with a lot going on? Do you want plenty of green space around you or lots of shops and restaurants nearby? Are your neighbors important to you or would you prefer a degree of anonymity?
Once you have answered these questions and any others you can think of, you will be in a much stronger position to pick out your ideal neighborhood.
Take the Time to Look Around on Foot
When you go to a house or apartment viewing, you often will drive straight to that particular address and won’t spend a huge amount of time actually wandering around the neighborhood to really find out about it.
Simply taking a stroll around your potential new street and some of the others nearby can give you a lot of information. Take a look at the condition of the houses and the streets to get an idea whether or not people take pride in their neighborhood.
See if people make eye contact with you and whether they stop to say hello. Check for any vacant areas of land or potential developments that are planned for the future.
Also, take note of the traffic and how much noise there seems to be. It is a good idea to do this walk at different times of the day so you get a fuller picture of what the area is like.
How Easily Accessible is the Area?
One of the biggest factors that affect people before they make a big move is how long it will take them to commute to work. So, it is worth mapping out what your quickest route to get there would be, but also don’t forget to take the traffic of rush hour into account.
If the shortest route by distance involves very busy roads, it is worth seeing what sort of shortcuts are an option. As well as this, you may also want to check out the public transportation network to see if this may provide you with an alternative.
And beyond this, it is also worth checking out how far away the nearest airport is located if you need this for work or simply for holidays.
Check Out the Development History
It is worth taking a closer look at the recent development history of the area so you can see whether it is up-and-coming or whether it has stayed fairly similar. If you are buying a property, check out how house prices have changed and this will give you a pretty good indication of popularity.
It will also help you to determine how good an investment you are making for the future. We have already talked briefly about developments that are planned for the future, but you should definitely check these out as this could affect the neighborhood and potentially cause some disruption to your day-to-day life.
What Sort of Amenities are Nearby?
How much a neighborhood’s amenities suit you also depends on your priorities. If you have a young family, one of the biggest factors that you will want to consider is the quality of schools are in the local area.
As a general rule, one of the best telltale signs about a neighborhood is the quality of the schools. Other things that you may want to consider is what sort of parks and family-friendly restaurants are nearby.
However, if you are young and free, you may well prioritise what the local nightlife is like and how social the area is.
Find Out About Crime Statistics
How safe the area is from various crimes is another major priority which you should consider before settling on a particular neighborhood. The internet is a great tool that allows you to check out some statistics.
Bigger urban areas tend to have more information that gives you a good breakdown of the type of crime and how often it has occurred. It may be more challenging to get information for smaller urbanisations but you should be able to find some details.
However, don’t be put off if your searches bring up one or two high profile cases as you are likely to find the same everywhere! If you want any further information, you can contact the local police department to give you some more details about crime and safety.
It is also worth checking out whether there are any neighborhood watch organisations in the area to give you an idea about how active the community is.
Speak to Anyone Who Lives/Has Lived There
If you know of someone who lives in the local area (even if you don’t know them all that well) they can give you some great insights about what it is like to live there.
You will find out much more information by speaking to people first-hand rather than trying to work everything out on your own. And even if you don’t know anyone directly, speak to your wider social circle who may know of someone that they can put you in touch with.
Moving to a new neighborhood where you don’t know anyone can be extremely tough so simply having that first point of contact can really make all the difference.
Look at the Cost of Living
You may have found a neighbourhood that seems perfect on the surface, but if the cost of living is extortionately high, this can put a major dent in your plans.
So, it is worth doing a bit of research about some of the basics like groceries and fuel. You should also check out what the taxes are like in that area as you don’t want to be hit with any hidden costs that affect you after you move in.
It is also worth looking at the amenities. If you run your own business or work from home, having a poor WiFi connection could really affect you financially so you want to make sure that this is not the case.
Moving to a new neighbourhood is a very challenging decision, so hopefully some of the information here has given you a better idea of what you should be looking out for so you can get it right first time.