When it’s time to find a new home, there are many things to take into consideration. Here are some important things to look for when scouring neighborhoods for a new place to live.
Green Spaces. Whether you dig a city vibe or more urban area, everyone can benefit from having some greenery in their lives. That’s why it’s a good idea to look at neighborhoods that offer local parks. Find out how many are in the area. Do they provide key aspects you and your family want? For example, are they within walking distance to the homes you are looking to live in and do they have play equipment like swings and slides for your children to use? It is also important to make sure these parks are safe, so check with trusted neighbors in the area and do an Internet search.
Neighborhood Watch Program. Speaking of safety, another important thing to learn about when searching for a good neighborhood to live in is whether it has a neighborhood watch program (NWP). An NWP is a good indicator as to whether the neighborhood is serious about safety and if it can provide your family with extra security. Speak with members of the community to find out if there is an NWP, how often they meet, and how they go about ensuring neighborhood safety. If there isn’t an NWP but you like the added security it provides, you may want to consider asking others in the community if they’d be willing to start one with you.
Good Schools. If you have school-aged children, then the location and quality of schools in the area you intend to live is of utmost concern. After all, what’s more important than your children’s education and safety? This is why researching the schools in the area where you plan to live is a must. When researching schools, use a school finder to compare important indicators – average test scores, ratio of teachers to students, and reviews from current and former neighbors. Ideally, you will want the school your child to attend to provide an excellent overall performance record and enough teachers to give your child the attention they need to succeed.
Walkability. Living in an area where you can ditch the car and simply walk wherever you need to go sounds pretty phenomenal, doesn’t it? There are several benefits of it too, like saving on gas and lowering wear and tear on your vehicle. Plus, it helps lower your carbon footprint – a definite score for the planet. Fresh air and exercise don’t hurt either, and we all want to look and feel our best, right? If you want to live in an area where you can easily walk around on foot, check out Google’s walkability score website. Just type in the name of the area you are considering moving to, and it will provide you with information on how pedestrian-friendly it is.
Friendly Neighbors. There are the neighbors that you never see and the neighbors that are overly friendly and make you want to run in the house before they notice you. And then you have the perfect neighbors that are just the right amount of friendly and trustable. Having a good relationship with your neighbors is important for both you and your family’s safety and peaceful living experience. Neighbors that have a good rapport with one another will think highly of each other, have get-togethers, and keep the yards clean and safe for kids in the neighborhood. Before you decide on a permanent residence, consider chatting with potential neighbors in the area. This will give you a feel for who you might be living near.
Police/Fire Departments. Another important thing to consider before moving to a new area is to find out how close police and fire departments are to your potential home. You’ll want to live in a neighborhood that provides a noticeable police presence, but not so noticeable that it indicates the area may have a crime problem. It’s also a good idea to look for a local fire department in order to try and get a feel for how long it might take them to respond to an emergency should something ever go wrong.
Culture. What you should also think about when choosing a specific location to live in is the kind of culture or lifestyle you want to be surrounded by. If you have small children, you may want to live in an area with other families with young kids. Or, if you’re an older couple, you may want to live in an area with people close to your age. While it is definitely a matter of preference, an area’s culture can make a large impact on how much you enjoy living there.
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