Tips on Choosing a Neighborhood
Finding the right home for you and your family is important and choosing the right
neighborhood should be as well. Fear of the unknown is the single most significant obstacle in
choosing a neighborhood for your home, and it shouldn't be. There are several guidelines in
which to follow and many things to consider when choosing the right neighborhood.
1. Research statistics. Log onto the internet, which is an incredible tool and should be taken
advantage of. Check crime statistics in the area, demographical information, city and
neighborhood amenities, school systems, property tax information, proximity to
emergency services and businesses. Neighborhoodscout.com is an excellent website that
offers an in-depth look into the characteristics of a community with customizable
searches so that one can compare one community to another. Nabewise.com is another
great website in which one can set up certain criteria to narrow down the list of
communities in which to live. For example, maybe you and your family prefer to live in a
secluded and remote area, or one that is in a trendy and mod location. The site also
features virtual tours of neighborhoods as well as reviews from those who reside in those
2. Visit the community. Not only should the community in which the prospective home be
visited during the day, but at night as well. Is it well-lit? Are neighbors active in the
community at night, grilling and barbecuing or are they quiet and reserved? Are there
children playing in the street? A neighborhood can be completely different at night; it
could be sketchy and less appealing or exactly how it was during the daylight hours.
3. Interview the locals. What better way to get more information on the community that to
ask its current residents? Locals are a plethora of knowledge and will freely give their
opinions of neighborhood safety and nuisance issues, as well as the pros and cons of the
community. Your best bet is to also visit area businesses, schools, and municipal offices.
4. Research the resale values in the community and the potential resale value of the
prospective home. Finding a neighborhood that will be more desirable and in high
demand over the next few years requires looking into a crystal ball so to speak, but is
essential before investing in a home. Questions in which to ask yourself are: are there
activities and amenities within the community? Are there many pending home sales or
listings in the community? Do most children in the neighborhood attend private schools
or public schools? Are there plans to expand and improve local schools? Is there a
growing business district or plans to revitalize the area? Are projects to enhance the
neighborhood in the works? All these questions will help to assess the potential resale
value of the home, maximizing your investment.
5. Older versus newer. Trying to choose between living in an older community or a newer
community? Do you want to live in a historic neighborhood or a new development?
Newer neighborhoods offer more of a sense of community that older ones and older or more
historical communities exude charm, but may not be as practical or economical for your family.
1. Location is everything. Do you want to live in a community that is within walking
distance to beaches, parks, culture and shopping? How far are you willing to commute to
2. Remember your first impression. What did you and your family first notice about the
community? Were the houses and landscaping well-maintained, did the homes and streets
have curb appeal?
3. Your vision. Write your vision of the best neighborhood in which you can see living in.
Then when visiting communities, keep your vision of the perfect neighborhood keeping
in mind that they should match your criteria and tastes.
By following these suggestions, you can make the best choice to move into the perfect
community one that will meet your family's lifestyle and needs while making a sound investment
for your future.