What makes a neighborhood special? That may depend on who’s asking the question. Neighborhoods tend to have personalities that reflect the personalities of the people who live there.What type of neighborhood are you looking for?
People tend to fall into one of three categories. People who love the city life, People who love the country life, and the middlers who like to keep one foot planted in each side.
City dwellers like to be in the middle of everything. They love the entertainment that the city offers. Not just paid entertainment but the kind that happens on the street, in parks and city squares and on public transportation. They love to be around people and the find plenty of events and venues to participate in with their neighbors.
Country dwellers like it a little more quiet. They like to get together with friends and neighbors but they like it generally a little more on the quiet side. They appreciate long walks without running into another soul and if they do, they probably know them. They find plenty to do around home to keep themselves entertained.
The middlers like the best of both of those worlds. They like the occasional hustle and bustle of city life but then they like to go home to a quiet place.
Choosing your neighborhood is a personal thing and should be as important as picking out your cabinets and carpeting.
When you find the home you love, take some time to figure out where to put it. Let your real estate agent take you to several different places before making your decision. Do a little research. Take a walk through each neighborhood at different times of day and on weekdays as well as weekends.
Sit down with a map in hand and chart out where the amenities, that are important to you, are located. Find churches, schools, grocery stores, and where you works and plot out how long it will take you to get there. Do you want to be able to walk to some or all of them?
Is it primarily a family place or more of a place for adults? If you’re single and you like to host parties at your home, a family neighborhood probably is not for you. You’ll spend more time fielding angry phone calls and dirty looks from angry neighbors that weren’t able to sleep because of your music.
Families might feel more comfortable with other families. If you have noisy young children, you might like the idea of dozens of young kids running in pack and playing at each others homes.
Many neighborhoods are designed to mix in young and old, rich and not-so-rich, single family homes and townhomes.
Talk to the people you find on the street and ask questions. Approach potential neighbors as they mow their front lawn or work on their car in the driveway. You can get the feel of the neighborhood by having a few conversations. Be sure to talk to more than one person because their point of view may not represent all of the neighborhood. It takes several points of view to get a good lay of the land.
The most important point to remember is that you are buying a home. If you don’t like the neighborhood, you can’t just pick it up and put in somewhere else and you can’t move out when your lease is up. For better or for worse, it’s yours. So choose your neighborhood carefully.