How can I pick the right neighborhood for my family and lifestyle when I'm shopping for a new house?
The mighty internet is your best guide. Web sites such as Zillow give the semantics for a neighbourhood, distance from local schools, crime statistics and walkability. You can't beat visiting the area and walking around to see if there are the facilities you seek ie golf courses, dog parks, walking tracks open spaces, shopping malls, farmers markets etc. Visit a coffee shop and strike up conversations with locals, talk to realtors, visit the schools. The more information you can glean, the better the choice you will be able to make. Compile a lsit of the things you desire in the ideal home area and tick them off. Hope that helps. Good luck (that helps!)
Know your target price and the area that offers homes in that range. Spend a lot of time driving the neighborhoods on different days, different times - of course in this day and age it might cause concern for the neighbors - !! But doing this during different times you can see the activity in the area and who is hanging out, who is working on cars in their garage during the day (a huge noise factor).
Realtors tend to put a positive spin on everything so depending on their opinion of a neighborhood might not be the best way to learn about an area.
write down what you want, then drive through the neighborhoods you think you might be interested in. If you have children consider their ages, the proximity to schools, activities, shopping
since you brought up lifestyle, consider how neighborhood affects your lifestyle, what kind of activities you want to engage in...
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