In Part 1 of this 3-part series, we identified ways to profile an ideal neighborhood and select one of interest, and listed features to research more thoroughly. In this article, we move in for a close encounter.
Just like meeting someone for the first time, when you enter a new neighborhood all your senses are on alert. In fact, it is pretty much the same process. You will get a first impression, along with the usual internal dialogue about what appeals to you and what does not. The HGTV Front Door website suggests you consider the following points:
- What do you notice first about the neighborhood?
- Are the houses well-maintained?
- Do the shops and restaurants look hip and inviting?
- Think of your daily routine.
- Where will you get your morning latte or walk your dog or go jogging?
- Visit at different times of day and night.
- Are the streets safe and well-lit? How is traffic at school time?
- What are people doing? How do they seem to interact?
- Visit local schools, even if you do not have kids.
- Any signs of abandon or vandalism?
Your eyes can provide a lot of information. In fact, as predators, this is what we use first in assessing a situation. We also use our ears. Here is what to listen for:
- What is predominant, the sounds of nature or the road? What do you prefer?
- Are there major airport or roadways nearby you mind find disturbing?
Most of all, listen to the voices and opinions of current residents and business owners.
- What do they like about their town? What changes are they hoping for?
- Where do they like to shop, eat or have coffee?
Finally, taste and smell your surroundings. By taste I am referring to the general style and ambiance. Does it match yours? Does it already feel like home or like a snugly fitting, comfortable and perfectly tailored fit? Can you take a breath of fresh air and actually get fresh air or does it feel like you have been standing behind an idling truck although there isn’t one in sight?
As you explore new surroundings, you may notice that gut feeling that says “Ha!” or the one that mysteriously puts you on alert. Do not disregard your first impressions; use them as a starting point to ask questions and thoroughly explore this new territory.
In the next article, we will close in on the steps to secure your new home.
Read the full Front Door article HERE.