A lot of homeowners would argue that the neighborhood can break or make a home. It is vital to keep in mind not only what you are looking for in a house, but also the community which you will be a part of. All of us love finding our dream house, the one which has everything we wanted. But that’s not the whole story. There is another factor to keep in mind: the neighborhood. You may know which city you would like to reside in, but also consider carefully whether the specific neighborhood is a good fit. Make sure to figure out what kind of neighborhood you want, perform research, and then choose the perfect surroundings. This post gives some tips to choose a new neighborhood.

Consider These Factors Before You Make Your Final Decision:

1. Crime Rates – To ensure your safety when choosing a new neighborhood, make sure to open a search engine, type in the city’s name & “crime stats by neighborhood”. The amount of data you get will depend on the city’s size. Larger urban areas have detailed crime reports, while the smaller ones might only have basic details.

neighbors sharing dessert and wine at an outdoor picnic table

Keep in mind that each town may have safe and dangerous areas, so it is important to ask around or also go through crime reports in local papers. You can have the best yard in the entire town, however, that won’t matter if it is continually getting vandalized. Make it a point to check what is happening around the neighborhood you are looking at, just as one of the biggest challenges of moving.

2. Closest Pharmacy, and Department and Grocery Stores – Medications, toiletries, and food are necessities for your daily life. That is why checking for nearby essential services is crucial. In case convenience is significant for you, you might wish to consider opting for a location which is close to where you will run most of your errands.

tree lined row of houses

Map out where your neighborhood is in relation the nearest pharmacy, department, and grocery store. Are they suitably close? Or will you need to plan the trip to these stores?

3. Recreational Activities – Whether you are renting a house or an apartment, one of the major home buying tips to keep in mind is that the neighborhood’s recreational activities should match your lifestyle. You might be looking for bike paths in your area so that you can hop on the bike and enjoy a ride on your Saturday morning rather than having to load up your car and going somewhere else for cycling.

Alternatively, maybe you want a neighborhood pool for the kids so that they can learn how to swim. Simply put, you wish to find a place with amenities that fit how you spend your recreation time.

4. Schools – A sign of a nice neighborhood are good schools. And in case you have kids, this should be at the top of your home buying list. Also, you can learn about schools online, which is well worth the while in case you have school-aged kids. How well do the students perform on the standardized tests? How large are classes? Do the majority of kids graduate and go on to college?

kids riding bikes on a suburban street

Another factor to keep in mind is how your child will get to school. Can they walk? Is there any public transportation? How far is it to drive? Is it safe? Even if you don’t have kids, the quality of schools helps determine the resale value of a home.

5. Commute Time – Studies find the longer an individual needs to commute, the less happy he or she is. So pay attention to what the traffic is like around the neighborhood at rush hour and how long it would take you to get to work.

elevated view of suburban neighborhood

In case driving is not an option for you, look for public transportation options like light rail or metro transit bus. Please note that there has been a lot of research performed regarding how much the commute affects your happiness, so it is something that should be taken seriously.

6. Walkability – Does the neighborhood you are considering have sidewalks? Busy roads with appropriate crosswalks? Or walking paths? Is it safe? If you are looking to have an active lifestyle, then walkability matters. Sidewalks make a neighborhood safer by offering safe passage for pedestrians.

walking a dog in a park

In case you have children who will be spending time at a park or a nearby friend’s home, or a furry friend that requires walking regularly, residing somewhere pedestrian-friendly should be the utmost priority. In terms of walkability, another thing to keep in mind is the lifestyle. Are trails, public spaces, or parks within walking distance? Having places nearby which are convenient to get to on foot can be a major advantage while picking the neighborhood.

7. Suitable Environment – Do you want to get to know all your neighbors, or do you prefer to be anonymous? Do you wish to reside in a quiet place with space for your children to run around, or a place where nobody will mind if you throw an all-night party? To choose a new neighborhood, find a place where the surroundings cater to your lifestyle.

row of suburban houses

Who doesn’t want friendly neighbors, right? Not only would they help you with little things like telling you the right commute time and how to take a bus to a desired destination, but they would also be your greatest support in difficult times. So make sure not to move small kids into an apartment building where every other resident likes to party till 2 a.m., as you will be bound to run into a bit of conflict.

8. Property Taxes – Find out from your real estate agent or the city what the current tax rate is, and how much it has increased in the previous 5 years. Is it expected to go up? How much you might pay in the next 5 years? Build this sum into your moving budget. Please note that in the Calgary real estatesector, finding out property taxes is of huge significance.

suburban street

Often, people opt for rolling property taxes into their mortgage payment every month. However, taxes can escalate over time and this must be accounted for. To choose a new neighborhood, look at the basic property taxes for the area over the past few years to see how much variation has taken place.

9. Public Transportation – If you plan to rely on public transportation as the primary way of getting around then the transit accessibility will be significant. It is worth taking the time to check out local transportation options and making sure that you have convenient access to wherever you wish to go.

In case there is no convenience store nearby, then having a nearby means of transportation will be handy. A few questions which you will want to look into are: how often are drop-offs/pickups? Is the schedule different on weekdays and weekends? How close is the nearest rail station or bus stop? Will you need to change trains or buses to get to social activities or work?

10. Future Developments – Whether you plan to stay in your new home for five years or 25, it is important to know what your community’s future looks like. The best way of doing this is by checking with the local planning office to see what might be in the works for forthcoming development. In the sector of Calgary real estate, location in an area with a high probability of future development can raise a home’s resale value.

suburban street with row of houses and bike path in front

Also, even if there is nothing planned for now that will directly affect your property, development can influence the entire look and feel of the neighborhood. If the neighborhood includes a large empty field, know that at some point that empty land might end up with retail or houses on it.

Conclusion

You desire a home that is comfortable for you and your family and convenient to school, work, friends, and shopping. When choosing a home, do a bit of homework on the neighborhood and then you will get to enjoy a setting which feels the best to you.

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We hope you found this blog post on Things to Consider When Choosing a New Neighborhood useful. Be sure to check out our post on 10 Things to Look Out For When Buying a New Home for more great tips!

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