Moving? How to Choose the Right Neighborhood!

You know what kind of home you want to buy or build, but what about the neighborhood? Many of us know exactly what kind of home we see ourselves in, but we may not be as diligent in thinking about the neighborhood. Compass Homes, Columbus custom home builders, builds in incredible neighborhoods, or we can build on your lot, a home site you’ve already fallen in love with. Choosing the neighborhood that’s right for you is just as important as the home you buy. So how do you choose the right neighborhood?

Create a List:
What do you want in a neighborhood? What do other members of your family want? Creating a list of wants & needs will help you narrow your search.

  • What type of commute do you want? Do you want to be close to work, or further away? Do you need easy access to the airport? Do you need easy access to Route 270?
  • What are the schools like? Are they nearby? Do you want your kids to walk or ride a bus?
  • What can you do near the neighborhood? Is it important to have shopping, restaurants, a library or coffee shop nearby? Is there a park or other common space? How about walking or biking trails?

The Neighborhood Vibe:
Creating a list is the first step, but equally important is understanding what type of vibe you want from a neighborhood.

  • If you’re always on the go & love activity, you may want a neighborhood full of people that are doing the same, or a neighborhood that sponsors lots of events. On the flip side, you might want to find a quiet neighborhood.
  • Do you like suburban or urban living? This may be more of a consideration if you have children or are planning to soon. Are you searching for a laid-back feel or a more energetic feel?  Both suburban & urban neighborhoods can have this vibe, so you’ll need to do your research.
  • Are you excited about helping a neighborhood find its vibe? You may be perfect for a brand new neighborhood, where everyone is building in the same time period. Or you may be happier in an established neighborhood, where you’ll meet people that have lived there for longer.
  • Are you looking for mature trees, lush landscaping, expansive yards, or do you love the idea of a new neighborhood that you can watch grow into itself? Many places have all of this, but some of us love to see it being created.

Now for the Search:
You’ve created your list, you know the vibe you want, now you need to search. You’ve found some homes you love, or you’ve found home sites you might want to build on, and now your mind comes into play. You’ve been dreaming, and your heart is already in love. Your first impression & gut feelings are important here-really listen to it. You can change a home, but not the neighborhood.

  • Visit the neighborhood at different times & different days to see what’s going on. Kids out playing, neighbors out walking, people on porches or patios, or no one in sight will give you your first glimpse of life in the neighborhood. Seeing it at different times during the day will help you understand traffic in the neighborhood and what people are doing.
  • Walk around the area and look at the homes & yards. How do people’s yards look? Are the homes in good shape & well maintained? Where can the kids play? Are there sidewalks, a nearby park, or a common area?
  • Talk to people you see out & about and ask them about the neighborhood. You’ll gain a great deal of information and get a better sense of life there.
  • Go out to eat somewhere local and people watch. Strike up a conversation with the servers or patrons and find out more about the neighborhood. Go into nearby shops and do the same.
  • Read about the neighborhood on online sites and the local paper. Read police reports, etc., to get a sense of the safety & well-being of the neighborhood.
  • What are the home values in the neighborhood? Have they increased? Gone down? Property taxes? Are there always homes for sale? This might signify that it might be a more transient neighborhood than you want.
  • What is the noise level like? Some of us will be excited for the noise of kids & animals, and some of us may be looking for less noise. One overlooked noise is that of planes flying into regional airports. If being on the flight path will bother you, then the neighborhood might not be for you. Are there railroad tracks nearby?

Decision Time:
Now all of your hard work will pay off and you’ll build or buy your dream home in your perfect neighborhood. The process might take time, and be a bit frustrating, but the reward is worth it! Then again, you may love the hunt and be excited about every step of the process. Choosing a home with your heart & mind will help you make the right choice for you & your family.

Compass Homes has home sites & homes in neighborhoods we love, as well as the ability to build on your lot. As your Columbus custom home builder, we can build what you want, where you want. Come talk with us so that we can work with you to find the perfect home in your “right” neighborhood.