6 Things To Consider When Choosing Your Next Neighborhood
6 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Next Neighborhood
Home buyers and renters will often fall so in love with a neighborhood that they forget about how living in that neighborhood will affect their daily commute. This comes down to more than just driving versus taking public transportation. You may love your new neighborhood, but if you are getting home after dark every night due to a horror show of a commute, how much time are you really going to get to enjoy all the great stuff around town? While you shouldn’t trade a great neighborhood for a short commute, be prepared to compromise.
Choosing a neighborhood based solely on the crime rate is like choosing a neighborhood based on the number of coffee shops. You are likely to find that the safest neighborhoods are also the most boring. Whatever you do, when you are researching the crime statistics for your new home don’t believe anything that isn’t in writing. People will offer you all kinds of opinions of neighborhoods that are based on things like neighborhood pride or something that they heard from a friend. Often their opinions are based on some kind of prejudice or at the very least be wildly exaggerated one way or another. Take your friends and family’s opinions into consideration, but before committing to a new neighborhood be sure to check the numbers for yourself.
By nightlife we don’t necessarily mean things like bars, night clubs and adult entertainment. While those businesses may play a role in your decision, the type of nightlife we are talking about here revolves around your ability to actually live life outside of your home after the sun goes down. Are stores open late or do they all close early? What about restaurants? If you need diapers or milk at 3am, what are your options? Are there well-lit sidewalks that will allow you to take an evening stroll or are you going to have to drive? Some of us enjoy quiet evenings at home, but if you are going to want to get out from time to time, make sure there’s somewhere to go.
You have to consider more than just rent or mortgage payments when determining what you can afford to spend on your next home. What are prices like around town? Is a slice of Pizza two dollars or five dollars? Are there bargain supermarkets in walking distance or is the closest place a fancy organic market? Even if you’re getting a great deal on your rent, a few dozen $25 pizzas will quickly add up.
Before committing yourself to a new home take a moment to check out your new neighbors. Are they quiet families or rowdy college students? Will you be sharing spaces? Before choosing your new home, make sure that you aren’t moving next door to your next great rival.
Your Long-term Plan
The most common mistake that individuals make when choosing a home is thinking in the short-term rather than planning for the future. This is especially an issue for individuals going through serious lifestyle changes like graduating from college or getting a divorce. For example, to a recent college graduate, moving to a college town sounds like a great idea. He may be excited to be near students and afraid of letting that part of his life pass him by. Despite his initial feelings, the partying, noise and traffic may get old very quickly, months before the lease is up. For senior citizens the opposite is often true. When it comes time to retire, they move to a quiet small community. While it is nice to relax for a while, they quickly begin to miss the hustle and bustle of the city where they once lived. Before you commit to a move, make sure that the move is right for you in the long-term, not just the next few months.
Kenny Soto writes for the blog at MyMove.com. Visit My Move today for tips, guides and info to help you find the perfect new neighborhood for you and your family.