When searching for a home, finding the right neighborhood is just as important as finding the right house. You can start to feel a bit like goldilocks testing out new neighborhoods–especially if you’ve just moved to a new city. Nevertheless it’s imperative to find one that complements your lifestyle. In expensive cities like NYC, neighborhood choice is heavily influenced by cost. Once you’ve crunched numbers to determine how much house you can afford, check out our tips to find the perfect neighborhood for your needs.
How to find a neighborhood you’ll love
Examine your lifestyle: Take into account how you currently live and use your time. Are you a homebody? If so, a neighborhood that is known for nightlife is probably not the best fit no matter how much you “think” you might go out. The opposite is true if you’re a night owl and always on the go. That cute, tree-lined neighborhood may be aesthetically pleasing, but you could find yourself bored if you move there. Want more of a suburban vibe? Pick Forest Hills over the Lower East Side.
Amenities: After you take a good look at your habits, it’s time to narrow neighborhoods down by amenities. Consider all the attributes and options you’d want in your ideal community.
- Proximity to grocery stores and shops
- Pharmacies & physician offices
- Restaurants & nightlife
- Parks & outdoor space
- Cultural hubs (museums, performing arts centers, movie theaters)
Make multiple visits: To really get a feel for a neighborhood, you’ll need to visit at different times. At minimum visit during the day and at night. If you have more time to spare, consider visiting on a weekend and week day. Exploring the area on foot is also a great way to scout amenities and chat with locals.
Schools: Have school-age children? Then finding a neighborhood with great education options is key. Use Localize to get a snapshot of the top schools in the city. You can also use sites like Great Schools which rates schools throughout the United States.
Commute: Whether you drive or take public transportation, no one looks forward to a long commute to work. If you have a car, map out your driving time. If you don’t own a car, check if the home has convenient public transportation access. Will you have to transfer? Maybe it’s more important to have a walkable neighborhood. Either way, your neighborhood should have the options you need to get around.
Check for crime information: Just because an area “looks” safe doesn’t mean it is safe. Looks can be deceiving. We’ve crafted a list of NYC’s safest neighborhoods, but it’s a great idea to check crime stats for any area you’re planning to move to.
Buying a home is the largest purchase most people make during their lifetime. The experience is a roller coaster of emotions, but Localize has your back. Our area insights not only provides buyers unmatched listing data, but vital neighborhood stats as well. Armed with the full picture, buyers can easily find a home they love and the perfect neighborhood to match.
Searching for a home in NYC? Let Robin, our home hunting advisor, jumpstart your home buying journey today.