Thinking about living in your dream location can be a lot of fun, but when it comes to actually figuring out the best place for you to live in, it can be a daunting task. After all, you really shouldn’t just choose a location on a whim or only because you think it’s pretty. You really need to consider several different things when it comes to selecting a location or area to live in, especially when it comes to your personality and your lifestyle.
Here are 7 things you need to consider when you’re looking for your dream location!
Brush Up on the Crime Rate – No one wants to live in a high crime area, so crime maps for your current or potential city can be a good way to weed out the areas you’ll want to avoid. Don’t get too wrapped up on the fact that an area you like had a car break-in last month. Crime will happen in even the best of neighborhoods. Just make sure the rate is low enough that you’ll feel safe and confident walking around outside.
Assess the Amenities – An area’s amenities might make or break the neighborhood for you. Some neighborhoods offer free or extremely discounted memberships to pools, gyms, recreational centers, and more. Others have parks that host local bands and artists throughout the summer months. There’s even the occasional neighborhood that pays a special tax to get more police presence that statistically leads to a safer, more secure neighborhood. Be sure to include any amenities that are important to you on your checklist when you’re looking around!
Measure the Commute – How far away is the neighborhood from work? How about from your family and friends? How will rush hour traffic affect your commute? These are all important issues to think about before you select a place to live. If you’re hoping for a short commute, try living somewhere close to your job. If you prefer peace and quiet and don’t mind the commute, a more rural community might be right for you!
Know the Neighborhood – Get to know the culture of the neighborhood to see how your lifestyle will mesh with your neighbors’. You don’t want to move next door to someone having parties until 2:00 in the morning if you have to wake up by 6:00 to get ready for work. Conversely, you might not be thrilled with your neighbors complaining about you being too loud when you have your friends over for a party.
Know Your Future Plans – Don’t just think of the present when you’re choosing the area you want to live in. Think about your future plans. Consider where you’d like to be in 5 years. Do you still want to be in your current neighborhood? Will you want to enroll in college? Do you want a job that will involve a lot of travel? Do you want to be close to family? These are all questions that could have an impact on both the area you choose and whether you go for buying a house or renting an apartment.
Take a Stroll – A picture might say a thousand words, but the experience is worth much more. Instead of just walking through the house you’re interested in, or worse, relying on pictures online, get out in your potential neighborhood and walk around. How do you feel walking around? How close are you to shops and restaurants? Are people spending time outside? Can you find any parks or other recreational facilities nearby? Don’t choose a house or neighborhood before you get your own feel for the area. You’d be surprised how many questions a 30-minute walk can answer!
Talk to the Locals – If you’re able to get in contact with people who already live in the area, they could be one of your best resources for questions about the area. Ask them how they like it, any concerns that have been prevalent in the neighborhood lately, how long they’ve lived there, their favorite aspects of the neighborhood, anything you can think of. They’re likely to give you unbiased answers – plus a sneak peak and how friendly your potential neighbors are.
If you’re not too sure where to live, why not check out Edwardsville, Illinois and the surrounding areas? There are plenty of things to do year-round, and the great city of St. Louis is just 20 miles away! We’ve even compiled a list of reasons why Edwardsville is definitely the place to be. Be sure to check out our many great listings at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to get all the info on your next dream home!