The days of living solo are now long gone – you’ve got yourself a spouse and children, and you’re looking for the right environment in which to raise a family. But during your search, you may find yourself unsure as to what to look for in a great neighborhood. Here are some tips to help find the location fit for your family:
1. Before contacting your realtor, make a list of what you desire in a neighborhood. Maybe you want to live in a suburban community with lots of other families; maybe you want to be within walking distance of a park. Do you want to live within city limits or on the outskirts of town? Having an idea ahead of time will help narrow down choices.
2. Once you have a location in mind, research the educational system. Whether you currently have children or plan on having them in the not-too-distant future, it’s important to find the right school for them. After all, they are to become the leaders of a better tomorrow. Another bonus? Homes residing in exceptional school districts hold their value over time. While the Fair Housing Act limits what realtors can share about schools, you can learn more about them online.
3. The trouble/ease of transportation. How do you plan on getting to and from your daily destinations? Do you want to drive your own car? Ride your bike? Walk? Take the bus or subway? In most cities, neighborhoods are located in close proximity to public transportation and today’s suburbia is designed in a “town square” style where residents can easily go to restaurants, stores, and more on foot.
4. Once you have several options, compare and contrast the choices. Visit the options you’re weighing, but not just at one particular time of day. You’ll want to see what it’s really like to live there, so stop by morning, afternoon, and evening to see how things flow during the day. It will help give you an idea of what it would be like to live there. Feel free to stop and speak to residents, asking them what their experiences have been like so far while living there. Which one is closest to your workplace or your kids’ school? Consider all options before making that final choice.