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Factors To Consider When Choosing a Good Neighborhood

Tuesday, May 14, 2024   /   by Teresa Pileggi

Factors To Consider When Choosing a Good Neighborhood

Factors To Consider When Choosing a Good Neighborhood

Buying a house is more than choosing a good-looking structure with all the features that meet your preferences. Sometimes, it has a lot to do with your lifestyle and how you intend to spend the rest of your life in the house. That is why after saving enough money, getting a reputable real estate agent, and securing your home loan, the next daunting task is to find the best neighborhood to settle in. 

Most people overlook the minor basics of a good location when house-hunting. As a new homebuyer, it is crucial to go beyond what fits your box when buying your first house. In that case, here are the main things to look at when choosing a perfect neighborhood

    1. Neighborhood Safety 

Security is paramount when selecting a perfect neighborhood. The level of security in an area determines if you or your family can walk and interact freely with neighbors. Here are a few features of a safe neighborhood: 

    • Crime rates: Check the local websites for crime statistics in the area. You can also ask neighbors or local law enforcement units who will give you the latest crime news and advice on the right time to walk around the neighborhood. 

    • Neighborhood watch group: Areas with neighborhood watch groups are more secure than those without. However, this is not a deal breaker since some neighborhoods without watch groups can still be peaceful.

    • Adequate street lighting: Adequate lighting at night can scare away thieves and enhance security. 

    • Community interaction: Before you move into a new neighborhood, take time to interact with the neighbors and tell them your interest in the area. Opening up to neighbors encourages them to give their first-hand experience with the neighborhood. 

    1. School District 

Are you a student or have any school-going family members? Availability of highly performing schools in a neighborhood is crucial whether you have school-going kids or planning to have them. To know if the available schools meet your academic needs, look at the following determinants: 

    • Estate test scores and overall data: You can download report cards from the local school district's website to see vital information such as test scores, graduation rates, and school demographics. You can also read parents’ reviews of different schools to know which school offers quality education.

    • The school’s programs: Does the school’s program cater to students with special needs? Do you need a school that can keep students for the whole day before you end your working hours and pick them up?  Is your child a high performer who might benefit from Advanced Placement (AP) classes that offer continued education after high school? 

    • Extracurricular activities: Check to see if the available schools have extracurricular programs that cater to your kid’s interests. Do they have clubs and competitions such as writing, music, swimming, and football clubs? 

    • Parent-Teacher Organizations: Does the school support parent and teacher cooperation? Look for schools that allow parents to participate in crucial academic and extracurricular decisions.  

    1. Accessibility to Nearby Necessities

A good location will determine how you spend your leisure time, especially after work or on weekends. Also, when house-hunting, you may want to consider how close the house is to necessities such as schools, hospitals, markets, and other government services. Therefore, when researching the neighborhood based on accessibility, you may want to consider the following factors:  

    • All-weather roads, sidewalks, and walking trails: Are the roads and walking trails reliable during the winter or summer? Or will your car get stuck on the road during the rainy season? Also, are the sidewalks accessible for people with disabilities? 

    • 24-hour businesses: Check if grocery, departmental stores, pharmacies, hospitals, or government offices operate for 24 hours or close during the night. Also, check if they are conveniently close or if you will need to travel long distances to access them. 

    • Available social amenities: Check if the neighborhood has enough or necessary social facilities such as yoga studios or gyms, kids’ playing grounds, library, or recreation centers. If you enjoy shopping or eating out, check if the area has enough shopping and dining options. 

    1. Affordability 

The affordability of the neighborhood is also crucial when looking for a house to buy. Make sure that the price range of the neighborhood matches your budget to avoid stretching your wallet. You should also research other additional expenses that come with your new house to ensure they do not kick you off balance. These include: 

    • The cost of living of the neighborhood: The living expenses of a neighborhood are determined by the cost of basic items like food, medical, transport, and rent. Look for a neighborhood that allows you to live comfortably according to your income. 

    • Homeowners’ Association (HOA): Neighborhoods with homeowner's associations are safer and more regulated. However, you will need to pay for services that the association provides. 

    • Current and future development costs: Will the neighborhood experience future developments that may increase or decrease the current cost of living and construction? Research the area’s development, construction, and zoning history to avoid surprise changes in your lifestyle. 

The Bottom Line 

Choosing a new neighborhood is a great decision that needs thorough research and proper evaluation. Always make sure that you move to a community that matches your lifestyle and preferences. You can research before relocating to the area to enhance your confidence when you eventually decide to live there. Alternatively, you can work with your real estate agent who will give you vital information and personal guidance on how to choose a perfect neighborhood.


Pileggi Real Estate Team - eXp Realty
Tom Pileggi, Broker
P.O. Box 1665
Holland Landing, ON L9N 1P2

Information is provided exclusively for consumers’ personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Data is deemed reliable, but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS®. Copyright 2024 Last Updated May 23, 2024
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