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June 17, 2024

Choosing the Perfect Neighborhood for Your New Home

Deciding where to live is almost as important as picking your future home. After all, your new neighborhood is more than a physical location. You're joining a new community. It's a big deal! Here are a few tips to help you understand what's most important to you and your family and to choose the right neighborhood that meets those needs.

Make a Neighborhood Wishlist

You might have already created a wishlist for your dream home. Now, do the same for your neighborhood. While you may need help finding everything you want in a neighborhood that matches your price point and location, this exercise will help determine the most important factors.

Ask yourself questions like…

  • Do I want a busy, more active area?
  • Does my family prefer quiet streets and secluded houses?
  • How important is it for us to be near parks? (Consider hiking trails, running paths, lakes, sports courts, and playgrounds.)
  • How close would we like to be to amenities such as restaurants, shopping areas, fitness centers, or the local community center?
  • How far are we willing to commute to work or school?
  • Do we need to be near public transportation?
  • Do we want to be physically close to our neighbors?

Get to Know the Schools in the Area

A good school can make or break a neighborhood for many people with children. Consider looking into class size, student performance, graduation rate, and transportation. Plan to move to an area with a school that fits your children's needs and your family's lifestyle.

Even people without children can see local school systems as an indicator of the neighborhood.

Take A Walk Around the Neighborhood

You've found a neighborhood that matches most of your criteria. The best way to get to know the area is by walking around! Pay attention to the amount of greenery and the level of traffic. 

You can also use this time to meet the people living in the area. Striking up a conversation while out can teach you a lot about a neighborhood.

Understand Housing Value – and Your Budget

Once you've selected a neighborhood or two, look at the homes in the area. Pay attention to the lot sizes, the typical square footage of homes, the age of homes, and the amount of yard houses have. 

You can check websites like Zillow to see housing costs and purchase history. This information can give you an idea of how much home values have changed over time – and how much they might change in the future. You can also get a sense of how tax rates have changed in the area. Then, determine if you can afford the area based on your budget. 

Finding the perfect neighborhood for your dream home can be challenging, but with careful precautions and planning, you can become part of the ideal community.

Kelly & Megan
Questions?Ask Kelly