You’ve decided to sell your home and move to a new area. This can be both exciting and daunting at the same time. It is critical to find the right house and just as important to find the right neighborhood for you and your family. There are a few factors to consider when choosing a new community, such as transportation, affordability, school, and crime statistics. It is as easy as ever to find the neighborhood due to online resources. Take the time first to find the right area, and then you can find the perfect dwelling. This step is critical and will have a significant impact on your search. Keep the following factors in mind during your search, and you will find the perfect place for you and your family to live in no time!
Researching crime rates is relatively easy. One way to do this is by typing in the town’s name and then crime rates by statistics. The search should break down crime rates in each area of the city as well. Neighborhood Scout is a helpful resource for finding crime rates and detailed reports about schools and more. While computers are useful, they are not always preferable to talk to someone. Feel free to call the local police station and speak to someone or visit face to face instead of just reading information on a screen. Local newspapers are also a great resource. Take your time and use all the resources at your disposal.
Take A Drive Or Walk Around
While you can go online and see neighborhoods from different vantage points via Google Maps, there is nothing quite like driving around an area for yourself. While driving around, pay close attention to details such as fences and signs. You may notice many people have high fences or bars on their windows. There may also be signs such as “beware of dog” that you need to look out for. It is also helpful to visit the neighborhood at different times. The area may be more congested on weekends or afternoons. This information is beneficial to know before moving in. You may also find it helpful to simply take a walk around the block. Walking puts you in close contact with neighbors, and you can get a sense of how friendly the neighborhood is and if they choose to wave or make eye contact with you as you explore the area. Walking also makes you aware of traffic patterns and speed, which you need to keep in mind if you have children that will be riding bicycles or skating around the neighborhood. Last but not least, pay attention to the age of the residents and whether there are mixed ages or mostly older, younger, or single residents. This will help you determine if your family will be a good fit or not.
Commuting & Public Transportation
Another factor to keep in mind while choosing a proper neighborhood is how far the commute is from essential places and whether or not there is public transportation. If you travel a lot, keep in mind how close you are to the airport and how much it may cost to get a taxi. If everyone in your household does not have a car, they may need access to public transportation. Consider how close the transportation is and how often it makes stops in the area. Also, consider how far your commute will be for work. You can use Google Maps to check real-time traffic flow during peak hours. You can also research the walkability and bike score by visiting walkscore.com. Also, consider how close you are to places like pharmacies and grocery stores. If you want to be involved in a community, don’t forget about researching worship and art centers, libraries, recreation centers, and more. You can find out more about these places online or by checking out local newspapers and bulletin boards.
Future Development & Affordability
You can first go online and check out the cost-of-living calculators. There is even a “Living Wage Calculator” that will help you determine the cost of food, transportation, and childcare in the area you’re interested in. Again, a computer does not replace human contact. It is a great idea to contact a real estate agent or people living in the neighborhood to find out what it is like living in a particular area. Real estate agents can tell you what the houses in the area are valued at, how much the property has increased, how the neighborhood has changed over the years, and about any future developments. Future developments will undoubtedly impact the value of your property, including increasing taxes and traffic. You can also visit City Hall or the Chamber of Commerce to find out about any future plans for your area of interest. When you walk around a neighborhood, pay attention to empty lots that have the potential for development. A real estate agent cannot give a personalized opinion of a neighborhood, so it is best to talk to people living in the area if you want to know if a neighborhood is safe or not.
If you have children, one of the first things to consider is the state of the schools in the neighborhood. Not only do you want to see how far the school but also consider class sizes and graduation rates. You can start online by visiting the National Center for Education Statistics or greatschools.org. These will give you an overview of general information such as student/teacher ratios, enrollment statistics, and parent and student reviews. Visit the schools for yourself and check out the conditioner of the building. Schedule a tour of the school, and you may even be able to talk to teachers or parents about the school in question.
Feel free to contact one of our capable real estate agents today! We will be more than glad to help you with whatever stage you are on in the home buying process, whether you are just now considering selling your home, looking for the right neighborhood, or ready to sell! Contact Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Elliott Coastal Living for all your real estate needs!