Moving is a huge step in everybody’s life, and everyone wants to choose the best neighborhood for their new home. Moving from one home to another, whether it is three blocks away or in another city, is a part of the modern-day lifestyle. Gone are the times when several generations would be born, live and get their own children in the same house. This is one of those things that have to be done carefully and thoughtfully. Many factors have to be compared and analyzed if you are to be sure that you made the right choice. So, we have compiled a list of steps that should help you choose the best possible neighborhood for you and your family.
Step 1: Finances
This one is a no-brainer. Before you embark on your quest to choose the best neighborhood, you have to get a precise report on your financial situation. Perhaps you are selling your old house or apartment? Find out what is the smallest amount of money you can get for it at the least. Next step is to find out how much money you can afford to invest in your home. One of the best investments, if not the best, a person can make is to invest in a house or an apartment. At the same time, it is one of the most final decisions you can make, concerning the fact that this process involves a lot of money, so you have to be careful. You don’t want to condemn yourself on eating two meals a day for the next fifteen to twenty years.
Think about how much money you are going to be earning in the next decade for example. Did you get a new job, and that it is why you are moving? Or are you leaving your nice, stable job, because you don’t like your old town, for a less good job in your dream city? Whatever the reason, you have to plan ahead. Furthermore, after you narrow down the list of potential homes, you are going to have to check the mortgage rates in those neighborhoods in order to completely determine your financial potential.
Step 2: Visualize your ideal neighborhood
The most efficient way to choose the best neighborhood is to list the obligatory qualities your new home must have. For example, you may want to be close to a school, or you want to live near the train station or a hospital. Do you want to live in a house or an apartment? Are you willing to commute, or you would prefer it to be close to your job? Maybe you are single, or you are simply not planning on making any commitments for the next couple of years? Then you might want to choose a neighborhood with lots of restaurants and bars. Or, perhaps you are married and have kids who are 5 or 6, so you have to look for a home that is close to a school. Make the must-have list first.
Next, make a list of all the other qualities that you really want, but could live without them. Perhaps you want your house to be close to a park, or you do not want to live in an area that is busy at night. Or, you want to live in a house built in a particular architectural style, but it is not essential? Put it on the list. Finally, after you are done with the important ones, think about those bonus features that can bring some special flavor. Things like being close to a theater or a Starbucks for example, or even a football stadium, can really give your new neighborhood a special feeling.
Step 3: Scan the areas of the city
There are two options here:
You are staying in the same city
In this case, you probably have at least some ideas about what each area of the city can offer you, so you won’t have to research as extensively. Your friends and family may help since they are probably living all over the city, and know their respective areas. You also, probably have acquaintances who may offer expert help, like realtors or policemen. Perhaps you know someone who is a teacher in that neighborhood you like so much, and they can tell you more about a particular school.
You are moving to a new city
This option is more challenging, but you can still do a quality research if you put in some more effort. Pick a part of a city to check out first. For example, if you have found a job already, you should check that area where the job is located, first. Check the crime-rates and other safety factors with the local police station. Check out the reviews of important institutions on the internet. If you have any friends or relatives there, call them and ask for advice. They may introduce you to people who could help you with your quest to choose the best neighborhood.
Step 4: Now, choose the best neighborhood
So, you have scanned all the areas of the target city, and now you have to shortlist of them? Remember those lists that we talked about in step 2? Well, it is time to look at them much more carefully now. Is the neighborhood’s safety at a satisfying level? This neighborhood has a really nice school right in the middle of it, but the other one is closer to your job? You have to prioritize now. Do you want your kids to be as close to your home as possible? What is the public transportation in each of those neighborhoods like? Perhaps a bus that goes through the second neighborhood goes directly to a school, so your kids won’t have to walk that much? Or are you willing to commute? During rush hour, how long does it take to come back from work?
Weigh in all of these factors carefully, and consult with your family and friends too. Consult with your real estate agent about everything that comes to your mind. You may feel like you are annoying them, but bear in mind that it is their job to help you. Choosing the perfect neighborhood for a new home is a really important decision in anyone’s life. We wanted to help you find it, and that is why we made this list. Go through it, analyze it, and follow it step by step, and before you know it, you will be getting house-warming presents from your new neighbors! Just don’t forget to plan your moving day too!