How to find a neighborhood
person CondoGo | watch_later 2021-12-12
How to find a neighborhood

When house hunting, it's easy to focus on finding that perfect cozy fireplace or sweet breakfast nook. But what about when you lace up your running shoes? A neighborhood that's right for you is a big part of securing your future homeownership happiness.

Look for your lifestyle needs (and wants).

Just like you made a want and needs list for your home buying, make one for finding a neighborhood. Do you want to walk to dinner, a movie or a nearby park? Compare your results to the Explore the Area map on Neighborhood pages. You’ll find dining, groceries, nightlife, cafes, shopping, fitness, and arts, and entertainment destinations. And on each property listing, you can find commute info.

Learn about the local vibe.

In addition to residents' ratings of their neighborhoods in the annual America’s Favorite Places survey, What Local Say polls respondents about the different elements that define what it’s like to live there. For example, do you want to live in a place with a great holiday spirit? A place where everyone knows your name? Or do you want to live in a place you can walk to get groceries? Locals rate their neighborhoods on these factors and others, including dog-friendliness, wildlife, parking, and more.

Check out the schools.

If you have kids, finding the right school in your neighborhood is vital. But even if you don't have kids, you should still pay attention to local school ratings for a couple of reasons. For one thing, houses with good schools tend to hold their value better and are sought by future buyers. You can get the scoop on local schools on Neighborhood pages, including ratings and parent reviews.

Factor in local costs

Placing two houses with the same asking price in different areas has two different effects on your monthly budget. Property taxes vary based on your state, county, and city rates. You can get an estimate of your local taxes with CondoGo’s mortgage calculator, or check with the municipal tax office for specific rates

Go for a neighborhood walk.

Once you’ve narrowed your neighborhood options down to a few, nothing beats a real walkabout to get a feel for the area. See for yourself how properties are kept up, how friendly the local baristas are, and if there are flowers planted along the roads. Hang out during peak traffic and on a quiet weekend morning to find a neighborhood that fits your style. Eat in nearby restaurants, visit the library, and swim in a community pool if you can. After all, some of the most important aspects of your life could be tied up in that home: raising kids or hosting dinner parties, riding bikes or playing sports in the park. And once you’ve put down roots there, you might as well make yourself at home.