Five Things to Look for in a New Neighborhood

Choosing the ideal house for you and your family is one part of the searching process, but you also have to make sure you move into the right neighborhood.

Taking advantage of today’s mortgage rates and buying a home is a great thing to do if you can qualify. With the idea of buying a home, though, comes the idea of searching for the ideal neighborhood. Of course, you won’t know all the nuances and other tidbits of information of your neighborhood until you have lived there for a while. But you can still look for some red flags and other signs that may tell you if it’s not the ideal fit for you or not.

1. Look at the businesses around your new home. This will be a great indicator to tell if this is the type of neighborhood that you want to live in. For instance, are there several tattoo parlors, payday loan shops and businesses like that? If so, you may want to look for a different neighborhood if you are a family with children. Of course, that’s not to say that these businesses or the people who frequent them are dangerous, but it is worth noticing to determine if you want to surround yourself with these types of establishments before making your final decision on a house.

2. Notice the number of vacant businesses. A couple vacant businesses in and around the neighborhood is not necessarily a bad sign, but if there are several, it could be a sign that the neighborhood is in the decline. If you plan on staying in the neighborhood for a long time, make sure you take this into account before making your final decision.

3. Look for the police. If you see police in the area often, it could be a sign that a strong police presence is needed in the neighborhood. While seeing the police cars patrol your streets may give you a sense of security, it is also a sign that there are many problems in the area that require police involvement.

4. Take note of the streets. How quickly do the streets in the neighborhood get cleaned off during the winter months? Does the city make a habit of planting new trees and shrubs along the median or the sides of the street? Are the streets clean or piled with uncollected trash? Keep all of these questions in mind when evaluating your new neighborhood.

5. Are there neighborhood activities to participate in? Many neighborhoods have block parties, yard sales and other activities that all the residents can enjoy during the warmer months. When you take a drive through the neighborhood, do you see children playing in the yards and residents working in their flower beds? These are just a couple signs that this could be the neighborhood that is best for you and your family.

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