One of the many benefits the internet has offered our society is the ability to really get to know your neighbor or town. This is especially helpful when you are planning to move to an area you are not wholly familiar with. Just like Facebook stalking is used as a tool to get to know a new love interest, the internet also gives you a chance to date your new neighborhood by gathering helpful information that you can use to make decisions when it comes to moving and planning your future. Here are a few details you can easily find through google or many other helpful websites that are dedicated to helping you analyze potential neighborhoods, their amenities, and the community.
One often overlooked cost when new home owners are searching for their future house is the property tax rate. This varies from neighborhood to neighborhood and can change yearly. Factors that can affect a change in property tax includes state and local budget changes, increased home sales in the area, rising property value, and more. You can even see the trend of your neighborhood’s property tax over the last several years through various real estate apps and websites or by asking your realtor!
While the old adage of “crime doesn’t have an address” is true, it is also helpful to see the crime history in a potential neighborhood. Online resources like the FBI’s UCR (Uniform Crime Report) can help you narrow your search by types of crimes, locations, and crime trends over time. This is such a helpful resource, especially if you have young children or are planning on living alone. The most important factor of a home is feeling safe, so utilizing the internet to get a clear picture of your new town or neighborhood can help you make the most informed decision possible!
It can be nice to know that a prospective neighborhood includes people in a similar stage of life or that maintains cultural values that are important to you! Everyone is different and is hoping for different things out of potential neighbors, and doing a little recon can help you decide if you are choosing an area that you feel comfortable, welcome, or that you feel like you can thrive in. If you have or want to start a family, you can see whether or not the people in your neighborhood are young families or past that stage in life. There are so many other factors that create a sense of community, and getting to know the racial diversity, age, and even income information can help you make a decision on where you want to invest your time and build a future.
There is way more to a home than just the house itself. Living in a community that suits your lifestyle can really increase your quality of life! Finding out if there are local businesses, restaurants in walking distance, nearby parks, the extent of public transportation resources, and more can help you choose the kind of community you want to live in. If you love spending your Saturday mornings strolling through a lively farmers market, if you value complete peace and quiet on Friday evenings, or if accessible bike paths are a must, you can narrow your search, using google, to gather the details so that your transition to your new town is as easy as possible!