How to Choose the Right Neighborhood

  • 4 years ago

It’s often said that the three most important aspects of real estate are location, location, location. While we believe there is so much more to buying a new home, location does play a significant role. Especially when it comes to choosing the right neighborhood.

Where you live impacts every part of your life: your commute to work, where your kids attend school, and even where you shop. So how do you make sure you are choosing the right neighborhood when you buy your next home? We offer 8 factors that go into choosing where to live, and how to evaluate their relevance for you and your family.

Proximity to Loved Ones

One of the first things many homebuyers look for are neighborhoods near the ones they love. If you live in the same city as your family, then this often means the home search begins in neighborhoods within close proximity of parents, grandparents, or siblings.

In sprawling cities like Nashville, choosing a neighborhood near your community is also important. If you attend church, work, or have friends in East Nashville, you may want to start by looking for a home on the east side of downtown rather than in popular suburbs like Franklin or Brentwood.

Start by evaluating your average day or week. How often do you see (or want to see) family? Do you drop the kids off at their grandparent’s house every day? Who do you visit with on a daily or weekly basis? All of these things can help you determine if neighborhoods near family or friends is a priority.

Nearness to Work

After looking for homes near family, the next most desired factor is proximity to work. If you’re hoping to reduce your commute in order to maximize your time at home, then this should be top of your list.

How close you are to work has a direct impact on how much time you spend with friends and family. If work-life balance is an important goal for you this year, then finding the right neighborhood means finding the right commute time to achieve that goal.

You can quickly eliminate neighborhoods that don’t match your need to be close to work. In fact, your real estate agent can help you identify neighborhoods that are close to family and work, as well as ones that match the rest of your wish list.

Access to Highly Rated School Districts

Where your kids attend school is also a powerful influence in finding the right neighborhood. When we begin searching for great home opportunities for our clients, we make sure school information is readily available. Even for homebuyers who don’t have kids yet, this can be a significant factor.

Nashville and the surrounding suburbs have some of the top-rated schools in the entire state. In fact, of the top 10 high schools in Tennessee, 7 are from Nashville and the greater Nashville area. This makes finding the right neighborhood based on school districts much easier when looking for a home in Middle Tennessee.

Neighborhood Amenities

When moving to a new home, it is helpful to make a list of must-haves, not just in your house, but in your life. For example, you like to spend your weekends golfing, playing tennis, or connecting with your neighbors. Or maybe you need to hit the gym each morning on your way to work.

How you live is affected by the access you have to certain amenities. The right neighborhood may not have everything you love—a golf course, swimming pool, gym, lighted tennis courts, community events. But choosing the right neighborhood means you’ve considered which amenities you can or cannot live without.

Local Shopping & Entertainment

Much like choosing your desired neighborhood amenities, you should also choose your desired community amenities. If grocery shopping feels like your least favorite chore, the right neighborhood for you may be one that has shops within walking distance.

In fact, the right neighborhood is often one you find yourself wanting to enjoy every single day. We know from experience that our favorite neighborhoods are ones where we love trying new food, window shopping on a lazy Saturday, or enjoying an event at a local business.

If you love eating out, visiting your local gym, and stopping at your favorite coffee shop almost every day, then these routines should factor into which neighborhood you choose to live in. Nearby amenities that you love can make a neighborhood feel like home.

Neighborhood Parks & Recreation

Do you have a dog? Small children? A passion for trail running? If so, then parks, dog parks, and walking trails are all things to consider when choosing a neighborhood.

Nashville neighborhoods are full of parks and nearby places to hike, bike, or run. The parks range from remote walking/running trails to great public play areas to bring the kids. If parks and recreation are important factors for you, there are even neighborhoods south of Nashville in Brentwood that provide walkable access to nearby public parks right from your front door.

For those moments when you fall in love with a neighborhood that isn’t near any green spaces, look for things like sidewalks and walkable streets. Sometimes being able to stroll through your neighborhood streets is a fair compromise, especially when you gain other great amenities.

Transportation Options

The right neighborhood is the one that gets you closest to all of your lifestyle goals. If shortening your work commute isn’t possible, then finding access to public transportation could fill that need for proximity to work.

Also, a neighborhood that puts you within walking distance of the grocery store, gym, and your favorite restaurants could make up for the fact that you have to spend slighly more time getting to and from work.

Finding the right neighborhood is often about compromise. In the case of transportation, walkability or access to public transport are great alternatives when being close to family or work just isn’t an option.

Style of Construction

In some cases, choosing the right neighborhood comes down to the style of home you desire.

Nashville is in the midst of a housing boom, which means new homes and remodels are taking place all over the city. Finding a unique home that fits your style is possible in nearly every neighborhood.

There are some neighborhoods that won’t offer as much variety in the style of homes available. If you are looking for housing in a subdivision, it helps to know what style of construction was used. Learning more about the builder and the varying home styles will help you mark some neighborhoods or subdivisions off your list.

New construction is a great alternative to existing homes. When you find the right neighborhood, but not the right home, consider looking into new builds.

Find the Right Neighborhood with ConnectHome

Finding the right neighborhood is easy when you have the support of local real estate agents. We offer hyper-local expertise to help you and your family find the home and neighborhood you deserve.

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