You’ve done hours of research, countless drive-bys, you checked out the neighbors and maybe spied a little… I can’t be the only one who did this right?
Well, there are some easy ways to tell if a neighborhood is going to be the one for you. There’s way more to a neighborhood than a good school and some nice neighbors., you want amenities! But what kind?
PARKS!!!! Especially if you have kids, living near a park would not only be convenient, but a park also provides great way to meet your neighbors! Drive by on a sunny Saturday afternoon and see what’s going on. If the neighborhood isn’t interested in that park, you probably won’t be either. We’ve all seen those scary, sketchy parks.. you don’t want that!
DOG PARKS: This one is super important to doggie owners when they consider moving. But a “dog park” must be vetted before you buy. Go visit the park, make sure there’s adequate fencing, doggie bags and water stations. Look out for other dog owners. Some parks claim to be “Dog Parks” but they’re just random patches of grass! Go check it out before you buy.
GROCERY STORES: Having a store nearby is a must for almost everyone. Unless you plan on buying a farm and growing your own food, or raising it… a grocery store is nice to be close to! Everyone has their favorite store, the one where you can walk in and out with no searching.. or maybe you are a bargain hunter and know what store has the best deals! But really, any grocery store near your future home is a good thing and you’ll be grateful for it when you run out of eggs on a Sunday morning or didn’t plan for dinner.
LOCAL RESTAURANTS: If you don’t have a good local restaurant to go to when you don’t feel like cooking.. you’ll end up ordering pizza again and again. Check Yelp reviews to see if people actually like your local restaurant, find their menu online and compare prices.
MOTHER NATURE: Large trees and beautiful landscaping can not only add to curb appeal, but also add some serenity to your new hood. Old more established neighborhoods will have bigger trees and more lush landscaping. Consider that if you’re buying a new home, some of that landscaping might be torn down to make way for the development.
LIBRARY: OK.. libraries aren’t as popular as they used to be.. but they’re a great place to rent a movie on the way home, check out that book you’re not sure about buying and even meeting some new people! Also, if you have kids, most libraries offer some pretty cool programs for your little ones.
POOL: If you don’t plan on taking on the huge commitment that is having a pool, a community pool can be a great option. But beware, not all pools are created equal! Ask around, some residents should know whether or not the pool is worth going to.
COFFEE: If the office java isn’t up to par, having a coffee shop right around the corner would be great! Don’t settle for any old coffee shop though! Visit and decide for yourself.
Some of these thing may seem trivial when you decide to buy a home.. but someday you might get a dog and wish you lived closer to a park, or you have kids and wish there were a place for them to play while you drink coffee from that local shop down the street…
Its worth thinking about! Make a list of what makes a neighborhood great for you.