hen you are shopping around for a new family home, the location is every bit as important as the house that you find. Even the most perfect house is difficult to picture as a “home” unless it is also in the perfect neighborhood for you.
There are so many things to consider about a new house that oftentimes the location becomes secondary. It should be part of your process to decide not only the things that you want your new home to have but also the things that are important to you in a new neighborhood.
You need to narrow down your ideal living community based on your tastes and desires. Do you want to live in a quiet and somber area, or a busier, more urban location? Everyone has a different idea of what may be perfect for them. Once you have that figured out, it is time to start your search.
How to decide where to live can be easier than you may think. Remember to give consideration to the following aspects of a new neighborhood to make your decision a bit easier.
No one wants to end up finding the perfect house and then discovering that it is not in the best or safest area. Use your online resources to check the crime rates in the area, or give the local police station a call to ask about the neighborhood’s crime history. You will want to take a first-hand look at your potential neighborhood by driving or walking around at different times of the day. How a neighborhood appears during the daytime may be very different than how it is during the night.
One of the most important aspects of a new neighborhood for families is the quality of the schools that are available. You can call the school board yourself or go online to check the ratings of the schools in your area. Find out how far away from your new home the schools are, and whether or not your child will be able to walk, take a bus or need to be driven to their classes every day.
In many large cities, public transportation relies upon more than personal cars. You may want to know where the nearest commuter trains are if there are shuttles available into the city, and what the bus schedules and routes are around your home.
The distance that you may have to travel to work is an important aspect of choosing a new neighborhood. Is the route fairly easy to navigate? How much time will you either save or extend your daily drive by? Planning your daily commute out in advance will give you a better idea of what to expect once you move.
Ask your realtor about the property tax history on your property. What has been the trend in the past 5 years? Are there any expected rises or decreases coming up? Always make sure to include your taxation costs into your total housing budget to avoid any surprises.
The neighborhood that you are looking at may seem perfect right now, but what will it look like in a year or two? Contacting your City Hall or the local Chamber of Commerce will allow you to find out about any upcoming building projects in the area. There may be new areas of housing being planned, or even industrial or commercial projects going up.
The area that you end up choosing for your family should be convenient on all fronts. You will likely want to be close to shopping, medical facilities, restaurants and entertainment. If you travel often for work or pleasure, you may also want to know how close the nearest airport is.