How to Find Good Neighborhoods in a New State
According to the United Van Lines’ 42nd annual National Movers Study, more people are moving out of New Jersey than any other state, with the majority heading to Vermont, Oregon, and Idaho. If you plan on moving to a new state, it can be hard to know if you’re really moving to the right city and neighborhood, especially if you’ve only visited the area a couple of times, or maybe not at all. That sometimes happens when you have to move for a company relocation or career opportunity, and while it can be very exciting, it can also be very stressful simply because of the change and the fear of the unknown.
By doing your research and taking some precautions, you’ll increase the odds of making the best decision possible when it comes to choosing the neighborhood to live in.
There are many websites that reveal crime statistics, school ratings, the amenities of a neighborhood and more. For example, AreaVibes is a unique website that measures every neighborhood or district with a “livability” score between one and 100 and a letter grade for each of the seven most important livability factors, which include cost of living, amenities, employment, crime, education, housing, and weather. NeighborhoodScout, Family Watchdog, and Crime Reports will give you even more information about the safety and crime rates of a neighborhood.
If you’ve never visited the town you plan to move to, renting first before you buy is really a must. That way you’ll get a feel for the different neighborhoods and the entire area, which could potentially help you avoid a big mistake. You’ll have time to get adjusted and determine which particular community will be the best one for you and your family before making such a major commitment.
Ready to Buy
When you think you’re ready to buy a home in your new town, be sure to use a mortgage estimator and come up with a budget to determine how much you can realistically afford. Hiring a professional realtor who has lots of experience in the area is a good idea as he or she will be able to make suggestions and offer advice on the best neighborhoods that are within your budget. You may want to talk to people in the community about what they like and don’t like in the neighborhood and ask if there are any noise issues on their particular street. If possible, to visit the school your child would be attending to view the facilities, chat with staff and parents.
While you’re searching for that ideal new home, be sure to ask the right questions: is it within walking distance to amenities, such as restaurants, shopping and/or schools? Is it close to parks and playgrounds? Think about what’s most important for you and your family and be sure to drive around the neighborhood, getting a better feel as to what it might be like to live there – for example, if you have children, seeing kids outside playing can be a great sign of a more family-friendly environment.