The hardest part about moving may be selecting a neighborhood that best suits your lifestyle. Start by thinking about what is most important to you and your family. For example, do you prefer a quiet residential area or do you want to be near busy nightlife? According to Movers.com, buyers should consider several key factors when searching for the right neighborhood.
- Safety— For most households, safety is the most important factor, so check out crime rates of potential neighborhoods via local government websites and the U.S. Census Bureau website, www.census.gov.
- Amenities— Determine the location of doctors’ offices, hospitals, schools, banks and grocery stores. It may be helpful to walk around the neighborhood to become familiar with local businesses and their proximity to your potential home.
- Education— If you have school-aged children, visit websites of individual school districts to see what services they offer, or contact members of the school board or principal for more information.
- Commuting/Public Transit— How far are you willing to commute to work or school? A home close to friends and family might mean a longer commute to work. If you rely on public transportation, find out where bus stops and train stations are located in your desired neighborhood. Review bus and train schedules to determine if they meet your travel needs.
- Property Values— Research current housing values in the area, local foreclosure data, and future development plans. These could affect home values in the future.
- Cost of Living— Compare the cost of living of your desired neighborhood with your current location. Cost-of-living calculators, such as the one provided on Bankrate.com, can help determine if a neighborhood meets your financial needs.