First Home Facts

Choosing A Great Neighborhood: What To Look For

Moving to a new area is always a bit of challenge and a gamble. How will you know if you're choosing to buy or rent in a great neighborhood? When researching your move and shopping for real estate, here are some things to look for that can indicate a great or thriving neighborhood.

1. Public Spaces

When shopping for a place to buy or rent, look first for public spaces. Parks should be well-maintained, even if they are older, and community centers and libraries should have vibrant schedules and plenty of new activities. Active public areas mean that the community itself supports the programs and attends or donates to them regularly.

2. Ownership

Don't judge a neighborhood by the newness of the houses or the swanky spaces. Low income areas can still be nice neighborhoods, even without the bells and whistles of fine finishes and high-end shops. Instead, look for maintenance. Are older, smaller homes well cared for? Have the lawns been mowed, the sidewalks swept, and the weeds pulled. On the flip side, broken windows, dilapidated fences and rotting porches are signs that a neighborhood is in a slump. 

3. Meeting Spaces

Good neighborhoods have established meeting spaces. A local bar, coffee shop, book club, or bustling post office are good places to scope out. Here you will meet the locals. it's best to talk to dedicated members of the community who have seen the place develop as they have lived there for many years. They can give you insights into which way the neighborhood is trending.

4. Outdoor Opportunities

Even urban neighborhoods have places to go for outdoor recreation. An outdoor pool, a park with walking trails, or a bike loop through the city are all good signs. Check out the public parks and their accessibility to local use -- you don't want to have to drive to get to all the fun places.

5. Local Events

A community is brought together by local events. Maybe the neighborhood has a great farmer's market or a yearly Christmas festival. These events are what make neighborhoods unique and worth investing in. 

6. Medical Care

For retiring couples, young professionals, or budding families, access to medical care is important. Call doctors offices in the neighborhood about the possibility of accepting new patients. Tour hosptials and view ratings online before settling down. Proximity to good quality care indicate a high quality of life for the whole neighborhood.