How to Choose the Perfect Neighborhood

Make a List
Start by thinking about what you want in a neighborhood according to your lifestyle. If you’re a working parent, you’ll want to check out the school district and local parks, not to mention the proximity to freeways and your office. If you’re young and single, an area that offers options for an active nightlife might be more attractive to you. On the other hand, if you’re getting ready to retire, you may be happier living in a more peaceful, secluded neighborhood.

Hop Online
There are some great resources on the internet that provide useful information about the various neighborhoods in your city of choice. You can really begin to narrow down your search without leaving the comfort of your chair.

Review the Rules
If you want to live in a community that has a set of standards regarding the neighborhood’s appearance, building codes and the behavior of its residents, you’ll want to choose a community that has an active homeowner’s association. If you bristle at being told what to do regarding your own property, you know what to avoid.

Seek Your Comfort Zone
Is it important for you to have a gas station, grocery store and coffee place nearby? Also do you like being within walking distance of restaurants and shops? Be sure to pay attention to how close these amenities are to the neighborhoods you’re considering.

Take a Walk
Once you’ve done some preliminary research and picked out a few viable options for prospective neighborhoods, it’s time to get out there and check them out firsthand.
Look to make sure the surrounding homes are well maintained with great curb appeal because this will affect the value of your own home. Also look for signs of trouble such as abandoned buildings, signs of vandalism, and an inordinate amount of homes that are on the market or for rent. And be sure to visit more than once, at different times of the day and night.

Talk to Neighbors
This can be a great source of information on topics ranging from the sociability of neighbors, late-night partiers, homeowners association standards, and whether or not there’s a neighborhood watch committee.

Drive Around
You’ll want to take the car for a spin as well to check out the condition of the roads, traffic flow, street lights and parking availability.

Evaluate the Value
Talk to your real estate agent about the values of the homes surrounding the one you have your eye on. He has access to information about the latest trends, recent sales and median home values in many neighborhoods in the city.

Once you’ve thoroughly researched the area in which you want to live, you’ll be able to zero in on the perfect neighborhood that suits your needs, lifestyle and personality. These factors will all contribute to your overall happiness because chances are, if you like your neighborhood, you’ll love your home.


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