One of the hardest parts of a home search is finding just the right neighborhood. Of course there’s no perfect community out there but knowing what to look for might help you feel like you’ve landed in your own personal Nirvana.
Ask yourself these questions below when searching for a new ‘hood:
Does it match your lifestyle?
Just as a sprawling, suburban neighborhood in a gated community may not be right for a young and single professional, a family with three small children would likely be miserable living in a tiny condo on the 12th floor in a hip, downtown neighborhood.
Is pride in ownership obvious?
Pride in ownership is obvious when the residents maintain their homes and care about their neighborhood. You will be able to see if this is true by the way residents park their cars, hide (or not) their trash cans, keep lawns tidy, have freshly painted homes or building, etc. Look for visual cues that the neighborhood works together to take good care of what they own.
What is the crime rate?
Low crime rates in an area generally mean safety and security are everyone’s concern. Trulia’s Crime Maps are one way of checking the types and frequency of crime in the area and determine if it’s the right place for you.
What schools are nearby and how are they rated?
If you have children, great schools likely top your list of what makes a great neighborhood. In fact, even those who don’t have kids should use this as a determining factor. You may not have kids but when you go to sell your home someday, the next buyer might! Great schools help hold home values strong. Visit Great Schools for ratings of schools in the area and read what local parents have to say.
Can good medical care be accessed easily and quickly?
This is important for all residents, but especially for seniors and retirees looking to find that perfect place to retire and for families with young children.
Is public transportation accessible?
Easy access to public transportation is a plus for a neighborhood and a convenience for almost any lifestyle.
Are there outdoor activities close to the home?
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast then be sure to figure out how close the nearest adventure is! Are there jogging trails, ocean access, biking, hiking, tennis courts, parks, or golf courses nearby?
What shopping and dining options are in close proximity?
Having great restaurants, shopping, and markets close to home is a must! It’s not because you intend to eat out every meal or shop ‘til you drop, but when you need or want something, having it nearby is a major bonus.
Can you walk there?
The one extra that could make you fall in love with your neighborhood even more is if you can leave the car keys at home and hit the pavement to nearby conveniences.
You may not be able to score everything in every neighborhood you like (and if you do find this magical place, tell us about it), but here’s to hoping you can get close!
Sources: Realtor.com, Forbes.com & Trulia.com