How to Choose the Perfect Neighborhood

One common nightmare scenario for new homeowners: you find the perfect house - a beautiful new kitchen, number of bedrooms, and beautiful deck. Then you find out later that your new neighbors have loud parties until 2 a.m. on weeknights.

Or there's a barking dog right next door. You are stuck with a perfect home in the wrong location.

What do you do?

This phenomenon can be called "neighborhood regret," and it's genuine. If you are not looking out for it, you may lose sight of how important your new neighborhood is going to be.

It's why you can't just consider the house itself. You have to think the whole package.

According to a recent Trulia survey, 36% of residents would move to a different neighborhood than their current one if they had a chance.

How to Search for a New Neighborhood

It could be argued that the neighborhood is just as important as the house you buy. You can always change the aspects of your home you don't like over time.

However, it's a lot less likely that you will have any way of influencing the makeup of your neighborhood.

If you are about to buy a house, or you are looking for a new community for this exact reason, follow these smart tips about where to start your search.

Make a List of Your Priorities

Most buyers know some of their top priorities before they start looking: school district, proximity to the interstate, walkability, etc.

Those are all great things, but think about the details you might be overlooking:

  • Can you handle a neighborhood with a lot of dogs?
  • Do you want to live on a street with other families?
  • Do you want to avoid a place where college students often throw late-night parties?

Scope Out Your Top Choices Online

The chances are good that this list of priorities will narrow your neighborhood choices down to just a few. If you have kids, the school district will probably make a significant impact on your neighborhood choice.

You can use Niche.com to find "user reviews" on the areas you are looking for. Niche is like a search engine for neighborhoods and schools. It is made up of a team of scientists and parents who have taken all the raw data about your area and taken the guesswork out of your search. Information is presented in an easy-to-use format that allows you to search under many different criteria and receive ratings and reviews from actual residents of the area you're searching for.

Take a Look for Yourself

The best way to find out about your potential new digs is to go there yourself. Drive through at all different times of day and night. If it's walkable, consider getting a coffee and spending some time strolling around.

Notice what you see and hear. Is the car traffic loud? Is there construction nearby? Are you noticing graffiti you didn't see when you toured the house?

Now, summon your courage and knock on a few doors. The chances are good that you will get your best information this way. The neighbors will know how quiet it is at night. They will have experience with potential crime, and it won't just be a statistic. You have got nothing to lose. If the next-door neighbor is rude, maybe that's a sign you should move on.

Takeaway

The environment you live in can be just as important as the state of your new kitchen or the number of bedrooms. Take some time to research your new neighborhood before you make that big purchase and avoid neighborhood regret.

If you have any questions about this process and live in the Detroit Metro area, we would be happy to help.

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