What makes a perfect neighborhood? It’s different for everyone, but there are certain things to look for when trying to find the right place to live, including school credentials, amenities and awards. Here’s how to find out more about what makes a neighborhood a good one.
In its truest sense, a neighborhood is the area surrounding your home. But it’s more than just a physical or geographic boundary. Community, facilities and amenities, culture and ‘feeling’ all make a neighborhood come to life. It’s important to consider the idea of what a neighborhood really is, because it can have a big impact on your quality of life. The right neighborhood can make a big difference in your happiness, safety and even your property value.
When you’re looking at homes, it’s important to also take a look at the surrounding neighborhoods. Especially when you’re looking for your dream home, it’s important to ensure you like the neighborhood too. Here are some things to consider that can help you decide if a neighborhood is the right fit for you.
Study The Schools
If you have children, or are planning to in the future, schools are an important factor in choosing a neighborhood. Look into the school district boundaries and research test scores and other credentials. Look to see if the school has won any awards, what its sport and extracurricular programs are like, and what students go on to do once they graduate. Talk to parents of children who go to the school to find out about their experience there. Even if you don’t have children, the general credentials of schools can give an indication of what the whole neighborhood is like.
Check Out The Amenities
What type of amenities do you want to be close to? If you’re looking for a family-friendly neighborhood, you might want to choose an area with parks, playgrounds and good public transportation. If you’re looking for a more urban environment, you might look for neighborhoods with restaurants, bars and nightlife. And if you’re looking for a quiet place to retire, you might want to find a neighborhood with golf courses, walking trails and amenities for seniors. Don’t just look at what amenities are available, but consider how good they are too. Check them out for yourself and look at online reviews.
Look Up Awards
There are all different kinds of awards you can look for that will give you an indication about what a neighborhood is like. Awards for safety, the best place to raise a family, great open spaces, air quality or even just the prettiest neighborhood can all give you some idea of what to expect. If a neighborhood has won multiple awards, that’s usually a good sign that it’s a great place to live. Awards also indicate that people care and the local area is probably being invested in – both financially and by the people who live there.
Do General Research
When you’ve found a few neighborhoods that fit your criteria, it’s time to do some more in-depth research about each one. Talk to the local real estate agents, look up recent news stories online and read the local paper. This will help you get a feel for what the neighborhood is really like and if it’s the right fit for you. You should also look up things like local crime statistics to get a feeling for what is going on. Remember that crime is everywhere, so don’t be put off by a little crime. But a general impression of whether local crimes are low level or high level will help you form your opinion about a neighborhood.
Get Out On Foot
Doing your own research also means visiting different neighborhoods to find out what makes each one special. Consider things like how well kept the streets are, whether there are a lot of people out and about, and what the general feeling of the place is. This is where you’ll really start to get a feel for whether a neighborhood could be your perfect match. Walking around on foot, rather than just driving around, can be very valuable. It will give you a slower paced look at the place; you often miss things when you’re driving around. This will give you a chance to listen; perhaps there’s a barking dog or the sound of the highway you didn’t notice before. It will also give you an opportunity to stop and look at noticeboards or posters, which will give you an idea of what’s going on in the area.
Do a Visual Check
When you’re looking at neighborhoods, it’s also important to do a visual check. This means looking for things like graffiti, broken windows or abandoned cars. These are all signs that an area might not be well cared for and that it might not be the safest place to live. Of course, not all areas with these signs are bad; sometimes they just need a little bit of love. But it’s something to keep in mind when you’re making your decision. Equally, look out for flowers in hanging baskets on the streets, store fronts that look visually attractive, and homeowners who have put a little effort into their front yard. These are great signs of a community that cares about itself.
Weighing up all these factors will help you decide whether a neighborhood is perfect for you. It’s important to remember that what makes a perfect neighborhood is different for everyone, so don’t worry if your idea of perfection is different from someone else’s.