Before you can make your new place feel like home, however, you have to find that ideal place where you’ll be able to live happily and comfortably for years to come. And that’s not a simple task – not only do you need to get the right type and size of dwelling for you and your family, but you also need it to be located in the right neighborhood (a safe and prosperous area of the town, close to your workplace, with plenty of local amenities and entertainment options, etc.).
So, even when you find an affordable property that seems to suit your requirements, you still can’t make your final decision – not until you have learned a bit more about the surroundings. The best way to do so is to walk through the neighborhood, introduce yourself to the current residents, and ask them all kinds of questions that will help you get a complete picture of the place you’re planning to settle in. And even after you have already moved in, it’s still your new neighbors that you should turn to in order to get reliable inside information about your new community and the peculiarities of your new surroundings.
At Mr.Move, we have helped hundreds of families to find a place they love in the new city they move in.
But what questions to ask your neighbors? How to get to know your (potential) new neighborhood really well?
Whether you’re looking for living accommodations in a particular area (because of its perfect location, social structure, living standards, etc.) or have found a house you like in a neighborhood you know nothing about, you need to learn as much about the place as you can before deciding to put down roots there. And what better way to find out all about the area than to talk to the people who are actually living in it – your potential neighbors?
1. Is the neighborhood thriving?
Are there good local services and amenities? Can you find everything you need for your daily life in the vicinity? Are there successful businesses located nearby? Are there new developments? Are the streets clean and well-lit? Are the houses well-kept and attractive? Is the neighborhood lively?
You can see most of these signs of a prosperous neighborhood while walking around, but things are not always what they seem to be – the residents will know better.
2. How safe is the neighborhood?
Ask your neighbors the below-mentioned questions :
if they feel safe to go out late at night or to let their children play outside without constant supervision;
if they have security systems and put heavy locks on doors and windows;
Find out how active are the police; is there a neighborhood watch; are there stray dogs running down the street; and any other small details that can make a big difference when living in the area.
3. What is the commute like?
Even if most of the places you’re going to visit on a daily basis (your and your partner’s workplace, your children’s schools, your family physician’s office, your bank, your hobby club, your favorite shops, restaurants, etc.) are located within (or close to) the neighborhood, you need to know your transportation options and be familiar with the traffic patterns.
How good the public transport system is and how well is the connectivity.
4. Is the neighborhood kid-friendly? (if relevant)
If you have children (or plan to have kids soon), you need to make sure that your new neighborhood will offer them a safe environment and plenty of opportunities – good schools, reliable healthcare, abundant green areas, a variety of recreational and hobby activities, friendly and helpful community, etc. To find out if your chosen neighborhood meets all these requirements, you need to talk to the residents:
Ask about local schools, after-school programs, day-care centers, free kids’ events, nearby parks, playgrounds, favorite hangings spots, popular activities among local children, etc.;
Ask if there is a 24-hour pharmacy and a 24-hour supermarket in the area – you never know with kids!
5. What is the community like?
To find out more about the type of community in the neighborhood and get an idea of the community life, you should ask your potential neighbors:
whether you can expect events like neighborhood meetings, or festivals on the weekends or block parties on a regular basis;
if people socialize a lot or prefer strict privacy;
if there are lots of young people, or families with kids, or seniors in the area;
if most of the residents have pets;
if it’s peaceful and quiet at night;
if there are loud parties and lots of noise;
what the major concerns in the neighborhood are, etc.
6. What do they know about the house you consider buying?
No one knows what’s going on in the property next door better than the neighbors. All you need to do is ask and you’ll learn every little detail that there is to know about the house you consider buying – what kind of people lived there before, how well they kept the property, if there have been any recent accidents (floods, fires, etc.), if the house is rumored to be haunted, and so on and so on. Besides, the neighbors can tell you about any worrying issues all homeowners in the area share – a high water table, root problems, or other hazards.
The answers you get will help you determine whether the neighborhood is going to fit your lifestyle and if you’ll be able to feel “at home” in your new surroundings.
Once you make your decision and buy (or rent) a property, however, you’ll be faced with another challenge – adjusting to your new environment as soon as possible after the relocation. Your new neighbors can be of great help once again – they can not only provide you with plenty of useful information and good advice but may also become good friends of yours and help you blend in with your new community and fight off loneliness.
At Mr. Move we can help you dilute all the above problems and make your moving to your next house seem like a cake walk.