Check out the local markets, parks, shops, restaurants and community events. Attending events will allow you to get a feel for the area and your potential neighbors. Ask store owners and community members what they love about the neighborhood.
Check with the local police department or state Web site for crime statistics in the area. Sites like Family Watch Dog and Spot Crime are great places to start.
Consider how you will get around. Is there public transportation? Do most people drive? Is it safe to ride a bike? How far will your commute be to work? Time it during rush hour to make sure. What about grocery stores, restaurants, malls, pharmacies and doctor's offices? You may not want to drive 20 minutes for a loaf of bread or to refill your prescription.
Research the local school districts. Are public and private schools available? Do they offer extra curricular activities? What is the cost per student? If your child will ride a bus, how long will it take to reach school grounds?
Traffic and Noise
Walk around the community at different times of the day as well as during the evening. Are there railroads, airports or entertainment establishments around? Where are the highways located? Have sound barriers been constructed?
These are all important aspects of a neighborhood to consider. Ask for information from your professionally certified Realtor®, and use the internet as a resource. Your Realtor® should be able to give you great insight into the area, and provide you with the tools you need to make your decision.
Photo ©Teresa Butler 2010. All rights reserved.