6 Key Tips When Choosing a New Neighborhood

Photo Credit: AO Tourism

Looking for a new place to live entails much more responsibility than just picking the perfect house for you and your family. There are many more factors that go into the buying or renting decision process. Whether you are moving within the same city or to a completely new state, it is crucial to be happy with where you land. One of the most important decisions you are going to have to make is choosing the perfect neighborhood for you and your family.

At the Talon’s Group we want to make sure you choose the right neighborhood for you and your family’s needs. Here are our six tips to follow, when choosing a new neighborhood:

Think about what your needs and wants are 

To kick start the moving process, you should make a checklist of your needs and your wants. Needs classify as the must-haves. The things that you absolutely need within a neighborhood and would be unhappy without. Wants classify as things that would be nice to have but are not essential. The things you can live without.

Questions such as how far are you willing to drive for a grocery store, is your family growing, and most importantly, how far away can you live from the nearest Target are key in the decision-making process. By answering some fundamental questions you can then start to narrow down your search.

Explore the local surroundings

Close your eyes. When you envision your life what do you see? Do you see your kids playing out in a spacious yard? Or do you see yourself walking to the park everyday? These kinds of questions can be answered through taking tours of neighborhoods. Step out of your car and walk around to see how the flow of the neighborhood works. Are people smiling and talking to each other? Is this important to you? 

As you take your walk/tour around the neighborhood be sure to look out for any red flags. Abandoned buildings and houses around the area might not appeal to you. Are developments about to happen in that space? Or do they have graffiti on them and no evident future plans? Note the hustle and bustle of the area also. Are you wanting a loud city or a quiet escape?

Research school systems 

If you are making the decision to move neighborhoods because your family is growing, it is essential to understand the school systems you will be zoned to. There are many resources online that can help you learn more about the school systems within the area. Some of the things to consider include, class size, teacher to student ratio and standardized test scores. Even if you’re not planning to have kids anytime soon, buying a house in a neighborhood that has a great school system gives your property more value.

Another thing you should consider when researching school systems in a particular neighborhood is how your children will get to school safely. Will they walk, bus or will you drive them everyday? 

Look up crime rates in the neighborhood 

Although it seems like an obvious factor in your search for the perfect neighborhood, making sure the area is safe is a serious precaution. There are a plethora of websites that are accessible to the public which inform you of the number of crimes that have happened in that area as well as what kinds of crimes were committed. If you are unsure you are always welcome to call the local police station for more information about the area.

There are also ways to tell more about a neighborhood while walking around. As mentioned earlier, an abundance of vandalism or graffiti within a neighborhood might be a red flag. Also, if you see many houses for sale or foreclosed, it might be an indication of an unstable neighborhood.

Consider commute time

Thinking about how you are going to get to work everyday from your new neighborhood is another important aspect to consider. If you have a car, are you fine driving 30-45 minutes to get to work every morning and night? If you don’t have a car, are you going to use public transportation or bike? Does your new neighborhood have a bus station near it? These are all questions to ask yourself when picking the perfect neighborhood for you and your family.

If you are not sure about the level of traffic in the potential neighborhood, checking your map apps on your phone during rush hour is a good idea to get a real sense of the traffic.

Think about other expenses

When deciding between neighborhoods it is important to note other financial obligations that may come with living in certain areas. If you are moving between states or into a new neighborhood in the same city, school zone and property taxes vary. Neighborhoods with better school systems will have higher taxes. So, if you’re trying to stay within a certain budget it is important to understand the local taxes in your new neighborhood. 

Another expense that you might not be aware of in your new neighborhood is a homeowner’s association fee (HOA). Not all neighborhood HOA fees are the same, some don’t have HOA at all. HOA is in charge of the upkeep of the neighborhood, which may range from snow-plowers to how often the garbage truck comes. 

These 6 tips will help you narrow down your neighborhood search and ensure you find the perfect home. At the Talons Group Real Estate Brokerage, our agents understand the needs and wants clients have when moving into a new neighborhood and can help answer any questions you may have. If you are interested in moving into a new neighborhood in the Auburn-Opelika area, visit our website or contact us at (334) 758-6220 today.