Searching for a new place to live is always stressful. Regardless of whether you are searching for a new apartment or a house, something that many people forget about is what’s around their new home – their new neighborhood. Here is a list of things you should be looking for in your new community.
LOW NOISE LEVELS
When choosing a place to live, it can be easy to forget to keep noise as a factor. In order to get a better picture of what living in the neighborhood would be like, visit at different times throughout the day. Be sure to stop for a moment and carefully listen while touring your potential neighborhood. For instance, can you hear a nearby train every time it goes by? It’s important to weigh whether you are willing to hear those sounds every day.
It is always a good idea to investigate the quality of schools in the neighborhood of your future home, even if you don’t have kids. If you eventually decide to have kids, this can come in handy. Even if you choose not to have children, good school districts can have a huge impact on real estate values.
What do you purchase on a regular basis? Do you stop for coffee every morning? When you are at home do you often find yourself thinking about things you forgot to pick up from the store? When choosing a neighborhood, keep your retail needs in mind and check out what your potential community has to offer.
You want to make sure that you feel safe wandering around your neighborhood. It is important to check the crime statistics to get an overall picture of the area. However, it is more important that you feel at home when you are out and about. Ask yourself, can you picture yourself being a happy resident there?
Where is the emergency room and fire department located in relation to your potential home? Being aware of these things is important in case of an actual emergency. The nearest hospital and police station in the suburbs can be surprisingly far away.
When walking around, do you feel comfortable or are you constantly watching out for traffic? In larger cities, neighborhood walkability has been linked to higher home values. One study found that those who lived in neighborhoods with high walkability were more likely to trust their neighbors. They were also less likely to spend large amounts of time in front of the television.
LOTS OF TREES
Does your potential neighborhood have trees along the street? While they may seem to decorative only, living among trees is very important for health and happiness. Trees not only clean the air, but they are great for mental health. One study found that people who live in areas with dense tree cover take fewer antidepressants than those who live in neighborhoods without many trees. Another study found that people feel healthier when they live in areas with trees.
AN EASY WAY TO GET TO WORK
Studies have shown that people who have a longer commute are typically less happy than those with a shorter commute. Be sure to pay attention to the traffic around your potential neighborhood. It’s a good idea to visit during rush hour to get a sense of what living there would be like. You can also see how long it would take you to get to work on an average day.
A COMFORTABLE COMMUNITY
Do you prefer to know your neighbors, or do you like to keep to yourself? Do you want to live in a quiet place that is kid-friendly or a place where no one will care if you throw a party? Look for neighborhoods that will fit your lifestyle. If you move into an apartment with your toddler and all of the other residents like to party until the crack of dawn, you’re definitely going to run into some future conflicts.
When you are not at home, you may want to spend time at parks, community centers, theaters, restaurants, etc. Having local entertainment venues are not only great places to get out and entertain yourself, but they are also great spots to make some local friends.
A PLACE TO EXERCISE
If you have to drive 15 minutes or more, it may be easier to just skip working out. Being able to go for a run or a bike ride when you feel like it is nice and it’s much easier to convince yourself to go to the gym if it is only a block away. If the gym isn’t your cup of tea, search to see if there are any tennis or basketball courts in the area where you could get in a quick game.