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Things to Look for in a New Neighborhood

February 14th, 2013 - 3:24 PM

Things to Look for in a New Neighborhood

When you move to a new city, you’ll also be moving to a new neighborhood. If you’re not sure what things to look for in a new neighborhood, don’t worry; I’ve got the list you need to make sure you choose the right neighborhood to live in. Let’s take a look!

  • Maintained Yards. You want to know that your neighbors care just as much about the appearance of their home as you do.
  • For sale signs. If the street is lined with for sale signs, then that’s a red flag. You want live by people who enjoy the area, not those who are trying to get away from it.
  • Business conditions. If the businesses located around the neighborhood are run down, then it may be a good sign that the neighborhoods nearby are also declining.
  • The police. See lots of cop cars driving around? It may mean that the area is watched securely, but it may also mean that it needs to be watched securely for a reason.
  • HOA. If you like the idea of being a part of an HOA, then you must be ready to abide by the rules and price tag associated with it. If you want to be a little freer, consider a neighborhood without them. HOA are a great fit for some and not a great fit for others.
  • Sidewalks. For families, sidewalks are great. For others, they’re a nightmare. Make a decision now if you’re okay or not okay with sidewalks in front of your house.
  • Schools. For families with school age children, a nearby school is a blessing. For those without kids, it can be hard to get out of the house when school lets out or noisy during recess.
  • Walkability/Drivability. How close do you want to be to your new city’s shopping, dining, and entertainment amenities? What about being close to the grocery store, gas station, or interstate? Do you want to walk to the store? What about the commute to work? These are all things to look for in a neighborhood.
  • Close proximity. How close do you want to be to your neighbors? Some neighborhoods are made of cookie cutter houses one on top of the other. Other neighborhoods have houses spread far out from one another, providing plenty of privacy.
  • What’s nearby? There is a park just a mile away from our house and we love it! If you have kids, look for a nearby park or playground. If you travel a lot, consider living closer to the airport. Always check the surrounding area to see what’s nearby.
  • Future expansion. If the city is planning on doing any type of expansion (road, construction, property), then you need to know about it before you settle down. Sometimes, an expansion can mean more traffic and higher taxes.
  • Crime. Use NeighborhoodScout.com to check crime reports for your neighborhood. You want to know that you’re raising your family in a safe place.
  • Neighborhood Activity. Take a stroll through the neighborhood. Are there kids playing outside? Is someone tending to their flower garden? If the neighborhood is active, you can be sure that it is safe, fun, and a great place to raise a family.

More things to look for in a neighborhood

I know I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg with these things to look for in a good neighborhood, so help me add to the list! Let me know what you look for in a neighborhood or what you love most about your neighborhood by commenting below!