If you’re moving to a new location, one critical decision in finding a new home is choosing the right neighborhood. While you may prefer a short commute or require quality schools, you’ll also want to select a community that fits your personality and your family. Here are three considerations to help with your analysis.

Know What You Want

Start by identifying what location features are important to you.  Are you seeking a picture perfect suburbia setting with tree-lined streets and children playing in the yards?  Perhaps you’d prefer an action-filled downtown with all of the best places to eat and hang out within walking distance. Or would a sophisticated neighborhood filled with fun amenities and young professionals be optimal?

Consider the amenities you need near your chosen location. Perhaps public transportation is a priority or access to city parks. Some buyers like to be within walking distance of a library or grocery store, while others feel that multiple choices of restaurants are appealing. Decide what is important to you and your family in advance of your search.

Consider the Type of Housing

In most cases, the majority of suburban homes will be single-family detached residences with smaller numbers of townhomes and condominiums mixed in.  Conversely in the downtown urban areas, condos and apartments will prevail with lesser numbers of free-standing homes. Consider the upkeep you’ll be willing to undertake and how much space you’ll want.

If you are looking for neighborhood amenities, newer subdivisions may be designed in their planning and construction phase to provide and offer more than traditional older single-family home neighborhoods where proximity to a downtown center may offer some of what you’d like and need, but it may be further from your home. If freedom from home maintenance chores is attractive, you might consider seeking a property in an area that includes lawn care and/or common areas with a pool, fitness center or entertaining space.

Drive the Neighborhood

One sure way to become familiar with any neighborhood is to drive to/through the area, park your car and take a leisurely walk down the streets. This will often provide insights as to who lives there and the sounds you’ll hear such as children playing, trains rolling by, the hum of a nearby highway, planes flying overhead or the soft silence of trees fluttering in the wind.

Multiple visits at different times of the day will provide the best overview of life in the area. While it may be relatively quiet during the day when everyone is at work and children are in school, nighttime could be the total opposite with cars cruising down the street or partying neighbors.

Searching for a home to buy is also committing to a neighborhood. Make sure you like both before you make that final decision. For additional information regarding the purchase of a new home, contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about Chicago's North Shore, North or Northwest Suburbs, and/or help you find your dream home.

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs

[email protected]

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.   

Image Courtesy of Bill Benzon/Flickr.com