Many people consider buying and living in their dream home to be a major life goal. The excitement of moving into your perfect home, however, can quickly fade if you’re in the wrong neighborhood. When choosing a place to live, it’s important to not only consider the physical house or apartment but the area you’ll live as well.
These tips can help you determine if your current neighborhood is a good fit for your family. You’ll also discover what factors are most important to help you find your ideal location.
Is Your Current Neighborhood Right for You?
Whether you’re considering moving or not, it’s usually a good idea to take a look at where you currently live. You can then evaluate what you like and dislike about the area. When you’re ready to make a move, you’ll have a better understanding of what things are important in your new neighborhood, and what factors have a smaller impact.
Your life stage plays one of the most important roles is whether a neighborhood is right for you. If you’re young and single, you may not be worried about a large home with a backyard. On the other hand, if you’re a married couple with kids, you’re more likely to need a larger home.
You’ll also want to consider what your future holds when choosing a neighborhood. Even if you’re single now, you may be getting ready to get married or planning to have kids in the future. Parents of older children may want to consider moving somewhere to downsize when their children move out on their own. Taking your current life stage, as well as where you plan to be in the next few years, can help you find a neighborhood that meets your current needs with opportunities for the future.
Families with children usually want a home with plenty of space and child-friendly amenities nearby. If you have children, you’ll need to consider their wants and needs as well as your own when choosing your new neighborhood. Take a look at your current neighborhood and evaluate whether or not it’s a good place to raise children. You may find that a neighborhood you loved living in when you were younger and childless is no longer a good fit for your needs.
Depending on your job, the location of your neighborhood may be one of the most important factors in your neighborhood evaluation. Even the perfect neighborhood can be ruined by a long commute, which cuts down the time you have available to spend with family and friends. Decide how far you are willing to live from your job.
Additionally, it’s important to consider whether you plan to stay at your current job for the long term. If you originally choose your neighborhood because it’s close to work, but have since left for another job, the neighborhood may not be a good fit anymore.
Your lifestyle and the activities you enjoy doing are a major factor in deciding if your neighborhood is a good fit. Families that enjoy activities like camping, hiking and biking might enjoy a home in a quiet town or suburb. Families that are interested in museums, art and fine dining probably consider a bustling city neighborhood to be a better fit.
During your neighborhood evaluation, look at what types of activities are nearby or easy to access. This is also a good time to look at your current neighbors and evaluate if they hold similar interests to you. There’s no reason you have to be close with your neighbors, but living in a neighborhood of people with similar interests can be beneficial.
Your pets and their needs should be considered when evaluating your neighborhood. Having a large dog in a small city apartment may not be the best situation, but a smaller dog or cat may thrive in that environment. Pet owners should look at their neighborhood and how it affects the wellbeing of their pet.
Important Factors to Consider When Looking for the Perfect Neighborhood
After evaluating your current neighborhood, you may realize it’s not meeting your needs as it did before. Remember that searching for the physical house of your new home is only one part of moving. Consider these different neighborhood factors when choosing your next home.
Many people are able to negotiate a great price on their dream home. Even if you manage to get a great deal on your home, you should look at the home values nearby to consider the cost of living in the neighborhood. In an expensive neighborhood, with high home owner’s association or luxury shops and dining, you may end up spending the money you saved buying the house. When considering the living costs of a home, you should also remember to consider what type of homeowners insurance discounts are offered.
For parents or people considering children, the school districts or available school options should be one of the most important factors when considering a neighborhood. Your children’s education is essential for their future, so you’ll want to find a neighborhood that has a highly-rated school district. Families that attend a private school will want to determine how far they are willing to commute to take kids to school from their new neighborhood.
Transportation and Mobility
The ability to walk to shops or restaurants is an important factor for many people choosing a new neighborhood. If you and your family enjoy exploring your city or neighborhood on foot, you’ll want to make sure your new neighborhood has adequately maintained sidewalks and is within easy walking distance to your favorite spots.
Public transportation is also a large factor for many families. If you take public transit to work, your new neighborhood needs to have proper access to your preferred transportation. Families who plan to live in a suburb, smaller city or in a rural area should look at the realistic mobility of the area, especially if you’re planning to move farther from your job. Many factors can change the actual time it takes to get from your new home to work. Remember to look at different potential routes and traffic patterns when evaluating a new neighborhood.
No one wants to live in a dangerous area. Before you move to a new neighborhood, look up crime statistics and safety ratings of the area. Your research should include the neighborhoods surrounding your potential new home as well. This will help you get an accurate idea of the safety of your new home.
Access to Amenities
You’ll likely want your new neighborhood to have convenient access to your regular amenities and activities. For example, if you attend a church service each week or go to the gym every day, you’ll want to find a neighborhood that has these things nearby. Remember to also consider your regular daily amenities, such as the grocery store or financial institutions, when looking at neighborhoods.
Proximity to Friends and Family
Your new house may wind up feeling empty if you can’t share it with your friends and family. Many people consider living close to relatives or good friends as a high priority when picking a neighborhood. If you are close to your friends and family, finding a neighborhood within a short drive or walking distance is something you shouldn’t overlook.
Make Sure Your New Home is Protected
The search for a new home doesn’t just require you to look at the structure you’re purchasing. Living in the right neighborhood can make your house feel like home. Once you’ve found the perfect neighborhood and home, it’s important to protect your investment. Learn more about our home insurance policies and how we can help you protect your home so you can thrive in your new neighborhood.