Finding the right neighborhood is the first step in the apartment hunting process. Once you know which neighborhood you want to live in, you’ll be able to focus on finding the right apartment. Your neighborhood is reflective of your personality and ultimately a place where you call home. Therefore, it becomes even more important to find the right neighborhood.
While on your search, make a checklist of questions to help you make a solid decision about the neighborhoods you are considering. Here are a couple of questions that every renter should consider when looking for an apartment:
Does the Neighborhood Feel Safe?
Feeling safe is important to feeling comfortable in your neighborhood. Be sure to visit the area at night because it can feel a lot different from what it’s like in the day. Check to see if the streets are well-lit, what the noise levels are, and if there’s any suspicious activity. Bring a friend along to when you walk the neighborhood for a second opinion. You should also ask yourself how you will get home at night. Regardless of whether your take the subway or drive in, you have to feel safe coming home. To be extra cautious, contact the neighborhood’s police department to check on crime statistics.
Is the Neighborhood Convenient?
Not only do you want to feel safe, but convenience is also another factor to consider. Find out where the neighborhood’s grocery stores, gyms, and other amenities are located to see if they are easily accessible. Do you prefer to walk to places (centrally located) or do you not mind driving? If you rely on public transportation, be sure to see how close you are to the bus station or subway. These types of conveniences will truly affect the way you feel about your neighborhood, so it’s important to research it now rather than later.
What’s the Neighborhood’s Personality?
Your neighborhood says a lot about you, so you’ll have to decide if it’s a fit with your personality. Try to get information from your friends, realtors, and neighbors. Ask them if it’s quiet or does it get loud at times. Is it filled with families with strollers or young professionals? Do you want to be IN the action or do you want to be away from the hustle but close enough to the bustle?
You’ll also want to check to see if the neighborhood caters to your hobbies and interests. Online entertainment sites like Yelp and Metromix do a nice job with providing information about communities all over the country. Researching your neighborhood will not only keep you active while you live there, but it will give you ideas on things to do once you move in.
Finding the right neighborhood is important part of the apartment hunting process. There are several questions to ask, but ultimately you must decide what’s right for you. Once you land on the right neighborhood, focusing on the apartment will be even easier.