On The Move: Choosing A New Neighborhood

On The Move: Choosing A New Neighborhood

MaryAnne Petrella
Jun 17, 2011

When it's time to uproot for jobs, school, or a passion for the unknown, you might have a city in mind, but what about a neighborhood? Unless you have spent a certain amount of time in a particular (and particularly beloved) area, it can be rather challenging to sort out just where to settle. Here are a few things to consider:

Tips To Choose the Right Neighborhood

1. Proximity to amenities, like grocery stores, laundry and the like. You can search terms like "pizza" and "drycleaners" on google maps to see what is available in a certain area.
2. Access to public transportation. Do you really want to walk 18 minutes to the nearest bus stop in the dead of winter?
3. Parks, bike paths and other green and recreational spaces. The Urban Jungle can be a bit depressing without some of these interspersed.
4. Crime rates in the area. Some regions have worse reputations than others, and you can research the validity of those claims by looking up police statistics and neighborhood reviews online.
5. Proximity to work or school. If being close by means a higher rent would you opt to commute instead?
6. Natural light. It offers cheer and warmth to any space and will cut down on your lighting requirements.
7. Backyard/balcony. Having either one adds weather-permitting square footage for entertaining, relaxing, and gardening. Pets are also known to approve!
8. Type of dwelling. Walk-up, high-rise, duplex? Heritage, new construction, 80's eyesore? Different types of building have their share of problems and advantages, so always be sure to consider these in the greater scheme of things.

I have also found this tool very helpful in my personal search for a new place: Padmapper links online apartment postings with Google Maps, so once you know what area you'd like to be in, you don't have to look up street names over and over again to figure out if they are in the right locale!

(Image: Celebrate Canada)

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