All Women's Talk

13 Questions to Ask when Evaluating a New Neighborhood ...

By Rosalina

If you're thinking about moving to a new place, there are some essential questions to ask when evaluating a new neighborhood, which will mean you can move into your beautiful new home safe in the knowledge that it's perfect for you and your family's needs.The realtor will obviously tell you great things about a neighborhood as they will get a wonderful addition to their pay packet for their troubles if they manage to make a sale. But when you're evaluating a new neighborhood, there are many things to consider first before you sign on the dotted line.

1 Up-Keep

One of the things to think about when evaluating a new neighborhood is how well the residents keep up their properties. Do they look pretty dilapidated from the outside and in need of some tender loving care? There are always tell-tale signs about the neighborhood and seeing whether people take pride in the exterior of their homes is one thing to look out for. Also, are the streets well-maintained or is it a little unsightly with litter and graffiti everywhere? Sometimes, you can get an immediate sense of a neighborhood as soon as you visit it and know whether it is right for you and your family.

2 Planned Developments

It's worth checking out whether there are any planned developments. If there are, you need to consider what impact this is going to have on the traffic and noise. No one wants to move into what they think is going to be a quiet residential area, only to find out a month later that a supermarket is about to be built three doors down!

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3 Noise Pollution

Noise pollution is something worth investigating too. We all want to live a peaceful existence but that won't be possible if there is a lot of noise from a nearby motorway, train station or flightpath. That said, I know people who live near a train station and you do stop noticing the sound quite quickly!

4 Accessibility and Emergencies

Public transport is something you also need to consider. Look at the bus and train services and consider how easy it is to get to the destinations you frequent on a regular basis. If you love going to the cinema then living an hour away will probably be frustrating. Also, consider whether the local hospital is close enough for your needs. Are you close enough to a medical centre just in case the need arises? These are also things to consider.

5 Schools

This is one of the biggest factors people with young children take into consideration when they move and let's face it, everyone wants their child to have the best start in life and to go to the best schools. If you can, look around the schools in the area and look at what their attainment record is like.

6 Parks and Recreation

Everyone likes some downtime and to be able to have fun with the kids in the great outdoors. See if there are any places nearby that will suit the family's needs. If you love walking or cycling, then being near a country park and wide open spaces will be perfect for you.

7 Night Time

If you have a potential property in mind, visit it at every point in the day. That means taking a drive or a walk morning, noon and especially at night time. Does it feel safe after dark and how noisy is it?

8 Entertainment

Everyone needs a little entertainment every now and then and it's worth investigating whether there are some accessible cultural entertainment facilities like cinemas, theaters, sports arenas and museums. Cultural hubs are usually sought after so in terms of property value, it's a worthwhile investment.

9 Traffic

Look at the amount of traffic in the area. If there is a lot of traffic, there is likely to be a lot of noise and air pollution. Excessive traffic may also pose a hazard to young children and pets but again, it depends on your personal circumstances and what you're looking for in a property.

10 Shopping

So, you've run out of bread and milk and need some, like, right now. Being near a shop or somewhere you can buy emergency supplies if you get an impromptu visit from the in-laws and you desperately need a cake you can pass off as your own loving creation, is quite handy.

11 Crime

This is probably the most important factor to consider because it will affect the insurance premiums for both your property and your vehicles. Find out what the crime rate is like in the area. Some areas have a neighborhood watch scheme so that people can look out for each other and alert the authorities if they see anything suspicious.

12 Rules and Regulations

Investigate whether any rules or regulations have been placed on the property and surrounding area. For example, in some areas, councils prevent people from changing their front doors or placing satellite dishes on the front of the house for aesthetic reasons. If you're looking for a flat, check whether there are any restrictions on decorating or pets. You don't want any surprises once you are committed.

13 Public Transport

If you're looking for a property in the suburbs, it's also worth investigating links to the centre and other key places. You might have your own transport but if you're left without your trusty motor for whatever reason, you may need an alternative way of getting out and about, so looking at public transport links is important.

These are just some of the key things that you might want to consider when thinking about moving to a new area. Can you think of any other important things to find out before signing on the dotted line?

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