Moving to a New Apartment: How to Choose Your Neighborhood

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By Manuella Irwin

Regardless of why you are moving (education, new job, due to “force majeure”), you are eagerly anticipating it or you are not excited about the upcoming move at all, you have to find a new place to live. And, it is not so easy to choose (without any regrets later) a neighborhood when you are moving to a place thousands of miles away from your current home. Here are some key factors to take into consideration when weighing up the pros and cons of your options and making your final choice.

Draw your own map…

Scrutinize your situation. Be specific with your needs, not your wishes. You should make decisions based on your real situation and not what you would like it to be. From A to Z, what you are looking for? Make a list of must-haves for the new neighborhood first. Later, you could also add bonuses and some extras. Prioritize factors and be flexible. You will most probably have to make some sacrifices.

Money always comes first!

If you still doubt that statement, let me make it clear for you: If you do not take your current financial situation and your income into consideration when choosing a neighborhood, you may sooner or later get into debt. The right neighborhood to live in is the one that will not devour almost all of your income. Research how prices in the neighborhood are. Your rental bill shouldn’t be higher than 30% of your income. Take in mind price of food, clothes, utilities and public transportation.

Crime statistics

You can find information and crime reports on real estate sites. That should be preliminary search only. To get accurate and up-to-date info, go to the FBI website or contact the local police station.

Proximity to work place

Next, ask yourself “How long are you willing to commute?” Look for a neighborhood close to your workplace or, at the very least, a neighborhood that lets you cut the traveling/driving time to work. Research public transit as you might use it instead of driving your own car to save time and money.

What kids need?

Other key factors to take in mind are education opportunities for children and extra curriculum. When moving with your family, the choice of neighborhood is a way tougher. Moving can be very stressful for children. Knowing that they will study in a good school and continue practicing their hobbies will make them happy and a bit more confident. So, make sure kids will love the new neighborhood and there will be plenty of opportunities for them.


When moving to a new apartment and changing your neighborhood, factors such as noise may not seem you important enough to give any credit, but it should not be ignored. If you seek a moment of peace and relaxation after a busy day at work, look for a calm neighborhood with low level of disturbance. Avoid downtown areas if you like to escape from the busy noisy streets.

Recreation and outdoors

If you are an outdoor enthusiast, love your morning jogging (and do not want to give it up), then you are looking for a neighborhood that offers beautiful sceneries. Make sure you have a nearby park where you can spend your free time.

Along with loving the new apartment that you want to move to, embrace the neighborhood. Many people spend time and efforts in finding that perfect apartment, but totally forget to research the neighborhood. If you can afford it, pay a visit to the new place before calling the shot, so you can see and feel it. Surely, through blogs, forums and reviews, you can get a lot of feedback regarding the neighborhoods you have in mind, but spending even just a day and getting to know the new area will give you the full picture. Once you make your choice, you can proceed with finding movers.

Manuella Irwin is a relocation expert at She provides news from the moving industry and in-depth advice on moving related issues.

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