How to Find a New Neighborhood That Suits You

An aerial view of a neighborhood to illustrate an article about finding a neighborhood that suits you.

Finding the neighborhood that suits you requires knowing what you want and a bit of research.

Trying to find the ideal home…in the perfect location? While finding a new neighborhood may sound daunting at first, the following information can help you pinpoint the perfect spot for your new home and current lifestyle.

A Neighborhood Wishlist

When developing your wishlist, put the factors most important to you at the top and the “would be nice” items at the bottom. And remember, where you should move is completely dependent on your personal tastes and requirements, so let’s get started.

Type of Neighborhood

Historic. New construction. Covenants. No covenants. Older homes have character, but may require more work while new developments almost always come with covenants or rules about landscaping, parking, etc. If you treasure antique molding and inset bookcases, the older construction might be right for you. If, on the other hand, having a community pool and less hands-on maintenance, the new development just might suit you best.

Family Matters

If you have a family, many factors may jump to the top of the list when finding your perfect neighborhood. School quality and crime rates become key with a family in mind. Sources such as Great Schools help you evaluate the quality of local education and County Health Rankings tracks the crime rate of prospective neighborhoods helping you gage the quality and appeal of certain areas.

Privacy vs Proximity when choosing a neighborhood

Another factor, particularly for families, is proximity. The average American commutes 15 miles one way to work which can equate to hours on the road each week. More miles mean less time at home. Even if you’re single, lifestyle plays a big role in finding the best neighborhoods near you. Would you rather walk or bike to work? To play? How about the accessibility of public transportation? Is privacy a factor? If being closer to work, shopping, restaurants and public transportation sounds good, an urban setting might just be the best neighborhood choice for you. If you prefer seclusion, quiet and privacy, a suburban home or gated community might offer a more suitable choice.

Can you afford the neighborhood?

When it comes to finding the best neighborhood for you, conventional wisdom suggests “Location. Location. Location.” It’s a good rule of thumb, but one that must be countered with your ability to qualify for the mortgage. Estimates put Denver’s average 2016 sale price for a single-family home at nearly $400,000. This year has already seen increases. If price is a key driver for you, websites like Movato can help you identify which neighborhoods offer the most affordable homes. In addition, Partner Colorado offers a number of helpful tools which can help you determine just how much you can afford. It’s an excellent first step on your way to finding the best neighborhood for you.