Do you want to move? Are you frustrated by your current living situation? Do you envy your friends who live in other neighborhoods?
No matter why you want to move, we’re here to help. You already know what to look for in your next home. Today, we want to help you choose the perfect neighborhood. Here are 5 ways to find your perfect neighborhood by considering things people don’t always think about:
The Obvious Things to Look For
There are some obvious things you need to look for in your neighborhood.
- If you have a school-age child, then make sure your neighborhood has good schools.
- If you own a dog, make sure there are parks or off-leash areas where your dog can run around.
- If you need to commute to work, find a neighborhood within a reasonable distance of your workplace.
Now that we’ve got the obvious stuff out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the hidden things you might not have considered with your neighborhood.
Consider Rush Hour Traffic
You might have visited the neighborhood on weekends. But how is the neighborhood during rush hour? If you have a job with traditional 9-5 hours, then you might be fighting through that rush hour traffic twice a day.
Fortunately, you don’t need to actually drive during rush hour to experience rush hour traffic for your target neighborhood. Instead, use Google Maps.
Open up Google Maps, then select the “Traffic” layer from the right-side menu. Type in an address in your new neighborhood (any address will do, if you don’t already have a home picked out), then get directions from your workplace to that address. From the directions menu, you can change your departure time. Change your departure time to 5pm on a Monday, then see how long it takes to drive home.
Some neighborhoods work great with rush hour. They might have multiple entry points and detour options. Others have just one or two points of access that can get crowded during rush hour traffic.
Think About How You Spend Your Evenings and Weekends
Your neighborhood has a big effect on how you spend your evenings and weekends. If your neighborhood is located on the outskirts of the city, you might be more tempted to spend weekends outdoors hiking, for example, or exploring other parts of the state. If your neighborhood is in the city, you’ll be more tempted to spend your weekends discovering new restaurants, bars, museums, and other things to do in the city.
Think of how you like to spend your evenings and weekends, then pick a neighborhood that makes those plans easier.
Consider Amenities and Recreational Activities
Do you like running or biking? Not all neighborhoods have easy access to biking trails or good walkability. Look for big sidewalks throughout the neighborhood. Some neighborhoods are more car-friendly than pedestrian-friendly. You might not want to cross an overpass every time you want to walk to get a coffee.
What kinds of recreational activities do you enjoy? Look for some of the following things in your new neighborhood:
- Accessibility of summer activities like cycling, golfing, sailing, hiking, or kayaking
- Accessibility of winter activities like skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, or tobogganing
- Nature areas like parks, off-leash dog parks, pools, gardens, or lakes
- Indoor amenities like community centers, theaters, museums, art galleries, etc.
Go for a Walk Around your Neighborhood
One of the best ways to get a feel for any neighborhood is to go for a walk. When you walk around the neighborhood, you experience things you miss while driving. You might talk to neighbors, see the sights of the neighborhood, and hear exactly how loud traffic is at different times of the day.
Too many people pick a neighborhood without going for a walk first. Park your car and walk around. You might be surprised at how different your new neighborhood feels – for better or worse.
Watch for Foreclosure and For Rent Signs
For some homebuyers, a “foreclosure” sign is an opportunity. Too many foreclosure signs, however, could indicate a serious problem with home values in the area. At the very least, foreclosures reduce the value of neighboring houses. If you see a neighborhood full of foreclosures or “for rent” signs, it could indicate a problem lurking below the surface. Or, it could mean that you’re going to get an awesome deal on your new home.
When you’re ready to move, get in touch with Man With A Van for a free moving quote. Our no-obligations moving quotes cost you nothing, but can help you decide if professional movers are worth the price. Many people are surprised by how affordable a move can be – especially if you’re just moving to a new neighborhood across town. Request your Man With A Van moving quote today.