Zeroing in on the right neighborhood is a process many people find difficult. While architectural style and overall aesthetic are important, one should look beyond the facade of a neighborhood to unwrap its true offerings.
To help find the right neighborhood for you and your household, we have compiled a list of factors to consider on your next apartment hunt.
Your Neighborhood Wants
How do you spend your free time? What amenities and conveniences are essential to your well-being? Do you want to live in a high-energy, urban environment? Or would you rather retreat to a peaceful, quiet community? Sit down with your family or roommates and prioritize the public services and private facilities most important to you. This will help you build a profile of the ideal neighborhood that you can use while searching for a new apartment.
Before settling on a neighborhood that offers little of what you’re looking for, see if you can find a neighborhood that fulfills most of your criteria. Desirable neighborhood characteristics to consider include proximity to green space, good schools, the presence of bicycle lanes, parks, theaters, banks, pharmacies, gyms, grocery stores, restaurants, bars, and retail shopping centers.
Proximity to cultural and entertainment offerings is something else you will definitely want to consider. If you stay on top of the latest art and archaeological exhibits that come to town, look near the museum quarter. If you love musical theater or stand-up comedy and try to attend a show or two every weekend, then it might make sense for you to live in or near the theater district. If you’re a diehard sports team fan or get your greatest thrills from blowout concerts, consider living close to a sports arena or ballpark that doubles as a concert venue.
Your Neighborhood Needs
As important as it is to find a neighborhood that caters to your living tastes and preferences, it’s just as important to be realistic about the constraints you face. Look at areas with apartment rental options that work with your budget. In addition to living in a neighborhood that you find affordable, you should look for the amenities and facilities you need to live a happy, productive life.
If someone in your household has a chronic illness or condition that requires frequent medical attention, consider areas that offer reputable medical facilities. If you have children or pets, the right neighborhood for you might be one that is family-friendly, pet-friendly, or both.
Commute and Transit Situation
Do you own a car? Do you plan to drive to work? If so, you might want to live where parking is neither expensive nor hard to come by. If you take public transportation to work, then your ideal transit situation will look different than that of a car owner’s. You might want to live close to a bus, metro, or commuter rail station that is well-connected to your place of work and anywhere else you spend a lot of time. The ideal transit situation is a matter of personal preference. Some people don’t mind long commutes, and find they can be productive during the hour getting to and from work. Others consider them a waste of time that drives up their blood pressure. Know what kind of person you are, and shop accordingly.
As you tour apartments and open houses in neighborhoods you’re considering, stay attuned to your instincts as they may be the best guide for whether or not an area is right for you. But before you sign a lease based solely on the vibes you feel when you visit a certain neighborhood, do your research to make sure it offers everything you really need. A combination of research and gut instincts should help you find an apartment in the right neighborhood where you can Live Life + Love Life to the fullest!
Have you recently moved to a new neighborhood? Share your tips or suggestions for others going through the process in the comments!