And They Lived Happily Ever After!
So you’re moving to a new city where you don’t know anyone but want to find a home in a neighborhood that suits your personality, lifestyle and family needs. How do you find your perfect home?
- Family Friendly: If you have children and are hoping to find a neighborhood where there are other children close in age and schools that are ranked for excellence then spend some time driving through areas you’re considering on a Saturday or Sunday. Look for people with strollers, kids on trikes or bikes, parks where kids are playing sports, etc. Also research school districts online. All pertinent information regarding recognition, class size, or problems are readily available via multiple websites. If you really want your kids to be able to walk to school, remember to do a walk from the home you’re considering to elementary, middle and high school.
- Community Involvement: If you’re seeking an area where block parties are common, community parades, events and social activities are the norm then check out the city’s website. They will have details of recent and upcoming events plus typically include a photo gallery to let you know how much fun it is to live there. If you don’t see any of that on the city’s website, you might want to reconsider your location.
- Singles Amenities: Check out the area on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Are you seeing active night life in restaurants, bars or clubs? Maybe you want to live near a sports stadium…ie: Wrigleyville in Chicago offers night time games, lots of bars and restaurants and lots of into the night activities. So, if that’s what you seek, check it out in the evening or late night. If you’re looking for a quiet night neighborhood, you’ll know this isn’t the place for you even if you like the homes available.
- Automobile Friendly: If you’re looking into urban areas and you own a car, you might want to check out included garage or deeded parking spaces. If there’s permit street parking that could be good for you but could be a problem if you like to entertain. Check out accessibility to highways and public transportation if commuting is going to be a factor in your decision.
- Access to Shopping: Do you want to be able to run to the grocery store in under 5 minutes? Then a rural area is probably not a good fit for you and both suburban and urban areas might offer their own challenges so if you find a neighborhood you like, take the extra time to explore how close you are to stores and malls. Too close because you don’t want the added retail traffic? Or too far because you don’t want to have to run 20 minutes away for some needed milk or bread.
- Crime: There are numerous sites online where you can simply put in an address with crime rating and you will be able to learn a lot.
- Walking Score: Typically this is more specific to urban areas and includes neighborhoods agreeable to both families and singles.
Urban vs suburb vs rural vs acreage…..Sit down before you even begin looking and decide what type of area(s) fit you and suit your wants, needs and don’t forget…your budget. Take your time to research both online and in person. Make an educated vs emotional decision and you can live your happily ever after!