Moving to a new neighborhood can be an exciting experience. But it’s also important to have a plan in place for how you will handle the move so that you can avoid any pitfalls and get off on the right foot with your new neighbors. Here are 8 things one should consider when moving to a new neighborhood:
1. How is the commute to work and/or school?
One of the most important things to figure out when moving is how you’re going to get around. While it’s fun to daydream about which grocery store is closest, or where all of your favorite restaurants are, there are more practical considerations. Find out what the commute to work will be like, and make sure that it won’t significantly interfere with your daily routine or on-time arrival at work. This applies if you have children too! Don’t just consider how far away you are from their school - think about what time they need to leave in order for them to get there on time!
A great way to find out what your daily drive or commute will be like before you move is to test it out! Try driving too and from your desired community at different times of day to see how long it will take, what traffic is like and which way may be the fastest.
If that is not feasible, you can visit a route finder website and enter your destination. Make note of how long it will take you to get there, and if the driving conditions are good too! You can also check out Google Maps or Waze for real-time traffic reports on your area to see what time you should leave if you’re going to be late.
2. What are the schools like?
Even if you don’t have children, this is still something to consider! Just like how living close to work can be convenient for commuting, you may want to consider what it would be like if your family expands.
Will you be able to send your future children to a good school? Check out the website for the local elementary, middle and high schools. You can also check out GreatSchools.org which gives parent ratings and info on their kids’ academic progress.
If you currently have children attending school, reach out to the school or area families to get an idea of what to expect. Make sure to ask about school times, bus schedule and more. You can also check out NeighborhoodScout.com for more info on the school district and area demographics.
3. What is the crime rate in the neighborhood?
This may not be a question that you consider regularly if you have lived in the same place your whole life, but it’s important to take into account. You can use online crime maps to check out where crimes have been committed and how frequently they have occurred recently. The National Neighborhood Crime Watch also has a lot of information and suggestions on keeping your family safe.
4. What is the local area like?
It’s important to consider what is nearby, especially if you don’t plan on commuting every day. Some places may be close to restaurants and shopping centers, or near parks and natural landscapes. This can be an attractive selling point if you plan to walk or jog during your free time.
If possible, take a stroll through the neighborhood during different times of day to get a feel for what it would be like if you lived there. Is the area safe? Do people seem to know one another, or is everyone very private? What type of activities are nearby that may interest you and your family? You will also be able to see what amenities are within walking distance of your new home such as parks, convenience stores and more.
5. What are the cultural events happening nearby?
Moving can be exciting, but it’s also a great opportunity to learn about new cultures and traditions right in your own neighborhood. Check out websites like Eventbrite to see what is happening in your area, or what’s nearby. This can be anything from the local Farmer’s Market to cultural festivals and live music!
6. Where is shopping available in the neighborhood?
You will want to make sure that there are ample shops and stores within your community, to reduce the need for commuting. While it’s great that your new neighborhood may have a grocery store or two, you will likely want more options. Some neighborhoods will have just one big mall, but others may have multiple small ones. If being close to shopping is important to you, do some research beforehand so you’re not disappointed when you move in!
You can also consider what amenities are within walking distance of your new home, but be sure to keep your safety in mind. You may want to stay away from walking in poorly lit areas or places that are not very pedestrian-friendly.
7. What kind of noise will you have to deal with?
Some neighborhoods are very quiet, while others may have loud traffic or construction noise. Think about how much peace and quiet you want to have in your home, then look into what the neighborhood is like.
If there is a lot of noise in your new community, keep in mind that most municipalities will issue permits for construction noise. That means that you will have to make sure that the construction is happening during certain hours, or let it go if you are okay with some noise. However, be aware of how this will affect your sleep schedule! You
You can also think about what time of day and year certain noises will be most prominent in your neighborhood, and if you’ll be able to handle them. This is especially true for loud neighbors, barking dogs, loud music and more.
8. What do other houses look like?
Finally, consider the types of houses around you. Are they all equally sized, or is there a mix? Do some look better than others? Do they all look like yours, with similar features and paint colors? If not, it could be an indication that renovations are common in that neighborhood which can be either good or bad! It may just mean that there are more opportunities to renovate your home if you want something different, but it also means higher property taxes each year.
You can also see what kind of people live nearby based on their homes. A neighborhood with only small apartments may indicate lower income levels while large mansions might point to wealthier residents. You might decide to choose another place altogether depending on who is moving into the neighborhood next to you.
Moving to a new neighborhood can be equally exciting as it is intimidating. There is so much more to consider than just the house itself. Taking the time to thoroughly evaluate all of the things that are important to you, before you make your final decision, could be the difference between satisfaction and regret.