A big part of your move will include finding a home where you will live. Likely, you have certain criteria for your new location. To that end we’ve assembled a list of “must haves” to help you in your quest.
Obtain neighborhood reports. How safe is a particular neighborhood? That information can be uncovered by reading newspaper reports and by contacting the local police department. Still, you need other tools to help you out — sites such as CrimeReports.com and NeighborhoodScout.comcan help you learn more. Obtain crime reports, school ratings, and more; decipher that information.
Drive the neighborhood. If you want to find out if a particular neighborhood is suitable, then you need to drive around it. If you have a particular house in mind, then drive down the street and the adjoining streets. Make a note of the condition of the houses, sidewalks, empty lots and anything else that defines the neighborhood. Any neighborhood that appears to be on the decline should concern you. Broken glass, drug paraphernalia and other small items aren’t easily visible when driving. Therefore, park the car and walk the neighborhood. You may be surprised by what turns up.
Consider the schools. Whether you have children in school or not, the local public schools should concern you. Housing values are predicated in part on the quality of the schools. If schools are overcrowded or if students are struggling, then that reflects poorly on the community. On the other hand, if the school district is excelling, then in all likelihood the town reflects that strength. Individual neighborhoods can rise or fall based on the quality of the educational institutions.
What the business district is like. Towns with a thriving business district also point to a community’s health. If the downtown is dominated by boarded up stores or if the local strip mall has numerous vacancies, these are reasons for concern. Your town’s tax base relies in part on businesses. If business is on the decline, then your property taxes will increase or city services will decline. Perhaps both.
The housing mixture. Not all neighborhoods are composed exclusively of single family homes. That doesn’t mean a mixed-use neighborhood is bad, but if the area is dominated by multi-unit dwellings, then it may be more transient for your tastes. Neighborhood stability is important — people who have a stake in the area almost always take better care of their homes then those who do not have a vested interest.
What are the jobs like? A thriving area will also have a good mixture of jobs. Some areas have strong medical services, while others shine in all things technology. In any case, if unemployment is low and the job market is varied and growing, then you have a very good place to consider for making your home. You can find out job information by visiting the Bureau of Labor Statisticswebsite. Pull up the information for your city or metropolitan area to make a determination.
Local government is best. If your neighborhood is governed locally, you should find that the town is responsive and the citizens are engaged. Communities that are governed on a larger scale, such as by the county, may not have the level of services you require. Determine if there is a neighborhood association and what they provide too. Lastly, you may find that a neighborhood compact is just right for you or perhaps is too restricting.
There are many other things to keep in mind when weighing a particular neighborhood. These things can be underwood by asking questions.
Such questions can include: how old is the neighborhood? Are new homes being built? Are old homes being renovated? What zoning laws are in place? Does the neighborhood abut a declining neighborhood? Are parks nearby? Can children walk to school or are they bussed? What services are available for seniors and for the disabled? Is the town governed by the mayor and council or is your community ruled at the county level? These are just a few of the questions any person should ask. If the answers meet your satisfaction, then find and home and contact the moving servicesto make your transition.