Deciding to move may be one of the hardest life choices you'll have to make. Once you come to a conclusion about moving, you'll have many tough choices ahead of you. One of these difficult decisions is sure to be picking where to move. Do you know how to pick the right neighborhood for you and your family?
Finding a new location can be difficult. To help sort out your options, here are several things to keep in mind when searching for that perfect new neighborhood.
How safe is the neighborhood?
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when choosing a new neighborhood is safety. You'll definitely want to know about crime rate in the area. Though there is no way to completely avoid being a victim of a crime, you can at least minimize this risk by choosing to live in a location with a low crime rate.
You should also search for any registered sex offenders in the area. Knowing these facts and statistics in advance will boost your confidence in the unfamiliar neighborhood.
How is the school district attached to the neighborhood?
If you have school-aged children, you should look at the quality of the school system in any neighborhood you are considering.
You could go to the individual school districts' websites to see what they offer or contact members of the school board/faculty to gather insider information about the schools in your potential neighborhood.
What amenities are near your potential new home?
Another important aspect to consider when choosing a new neighborhood is what facilities are within the area or close by.
Educate yourself on the locations of:
- Doctors' offices
Once you have located these important amenities in your potential new neighborhood, you can think about any other facilities you might need, such as public pools and gyms.
How far is the neighborhood from your workplace?
You should also consider how far you will have to drive from your potential neighborhood to your workplace.
A short commute is not a reason alone to move to a new neighborhood. While you may have a longer commute elsewhere, those neighborhoods may be closer to your friends or family. Perhaps the neighborhood immediately surrounding your workplace is not the nicest neighborhood, so you might want to trade off driving through rush hour for a safer neighborhood.
Is there public transportation to help you get around?
If you depend on public transportation to get around, the availability of these services will be another important factor in selecting your new neighborhood.
Find out if there are bus stops or train stations in your potential new neighborhoods. Also, look into the stops and schedules that the bus or train will make and determine whether these schedules will meet your needs.
How high -- or low -- are the property values in the neighborhood?
Each neighborhood will have its own unique set of property values; the nicer the neighborhood, the higher the property value.
This is certainly an important aspect to look into for any location you consider. For example, you'll want to know what the current value is as well as future developments that could affect the neighborhood's property value in the long run.
Does the neighborhood have a high cost of living?
Compare the cost of living in your current location to that of any potential new neighborhood. If the cost of living is too high in one neighborhood, you could always consider another area.
To help you determine the cost of living of any town, use our cost of living calculator, which can help you select the neighborhood that best meets your financial needs.