Whether you are buying a house for the first time or planning on moving, you need to consider the neighborhood when you are house hunting.  Ask yourself what are the things you and your family are looking for from a neighborhood.  

New development or older neighborhood

Older neighborhoods have character and the homes are unique and different from one another.  Older neighborhoods are generally stable with long-time residents.  With an older home however, they may require upgrades and renovations.  With newer developments the homes tend to be closer together and they are generally far from the city’s center.  Some neighborhoods have a zero-lot line housing.  Zero-lot lines extend close to the edge of the property line, meaning less yard space. This is ideal if you are away from your home for an extended period of time.   With this type of housing yard care and some maintenance is offered.   


If you have children, this is most likely the number one consideration when choosing a neighborhood. One of the first things you will want to do is research the school system. There are many tools available that will reveal the schools rating and transportation options.  Living in an area with a good school will raises your property value.


Living in a neighborhood where you feel safe will be one of the top priorities. Searching “crime statistics by neighborhood” will give the home buyer a good idea of the crime rate in that area. CrimeReports and SpotCrime are two services that collect police and crime reports.  The services will list the crimes committed as well as the date and type of crime.  A safe neighborhood is generally well kept, where neighbors look after their property and each other.  If you see people sitting outside, walking their dogs, children walking to school and playing in the parks it is a good indication that the neighborhood is safe. 


If the neighborhood is outside of the city, you will have to determine how far you want to travel for everyday amenities such as gas and groceries.  Do you wish to have parks, community centers, museums and other attractions in your neighborhood? It is becoming more common for home buyers to live in areas where they are able to walk to their local coffee shop, restaurants and shopping malls. 


When looking for your new home, factor in the length of your commute.  If you travel a great deal you may want to consider living in a neighborhood that is close to the airport.  The home buyer should also consider if there is easy access to public transportation.