Apartment hunting means a whole lot more than finding the ideal unit. You must look beyond the apartment and really examine the surrounding neighborhood to determine whether or not it’s right for you and your lifestyle.

Here are a few tips to help guide you to the perfect neighborhood:

Think About the Future

What are you looking to get out of your neighborhood? In order to answer this question, you must think a few years ahead (which I realize can be scary).

[Retirement Planning: What You Can Do Now]

For instance, do you plan on settling down and having children anytime soon? If so, you’ll have to find a neighborhood with nearby schools and parks in which your little ones can play. If a family isn’t in your future, what about a new career path? You will want to see what companies are in the area to make sure that your line of work is nearby.

Know What You Want

It’s going to be hard to narrow down a neighborhood if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. Come up with a list of amenities that you know you need to have in your neighborhood, like a school, a coffee house, a bar or a nearby hospital. It’s also a good idea to write down things that you’ll want to stay away from, like noisy streets or a college-y area.

Check Out Your Commute

You might love the neighborhood and apartment that you’ve found. However, if it’s an hour commute each day, you might want to think about relocating closer to your job.

[Factoring a New Commute into an Apartment Search]

Before you sign the lease, check out how lengthy your commute will be—you’ll be glad you did this later on.

Consult User Reviews

You wouldn’t hire someone you know nothing about, so why would you choose a neighborhood without doing a little research first? By going online to sites like StreetAdvisor, you’ll be able to get real reviews of each neighborhood that you’re thinking about moving into.

[Apartment Ratings and Reviews]

People rate various neighborhoods and answer important questions like “Are there any nearby school systems for my kids?” You’ll feel better about choosing a neighborhood when you’ve talked to someone who has experienced living there.

Look to Local Attractions

An easy way to check out what type of local attractions your neighborhood has is by heading to the online site, TripAdvisor. You can easily navigate through reviews of hotels, restaurants, theaters and other attractions. This site will come in handy when you want to explore your neighborhood.

Actually Visit Each Neighborhood

You can look online all you want, but you won’t get a good grasp of each neighborhood if you don’t go and check them out for yourself. Visit the neighborhoods you’re interested during both day and night to get a good idea of what it might be like to live there. When you’re in the community, don’t hesitate to talk to residents and find out what they love and don’t love about living in that particular area.



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