There’s no place like home, so it’s important to make sure you pick the right neighborhood for your family. With so many neighborhoods in the Vancouver and Portland areas, how do you choose the right one?
Consider your lifestyle needs
Settle down and scrutinize your family’s lifestyle. These factors will affect the type of neighborhood qualities that will be most attractive to you. Here are some things to consider:
- Do you have children or are planning to have children?
- How far are you willing to commute?
- How close are area amenities (i.e. parks/open spaces, recreation activities, stores, restaurants, etc.)? Is it walkable or requires a car?
- What features is your current community missing that you want?
- What features don’t you want in a neighborhood?
Use the Internet
The Internet is helpful for conducting preliminary research. Aside from Trulia and Zillow, there are many online sources you can use to research your desired neighborhoods, including NeighborhoodScout, Livability, City-Data.com and CrimeReports.
Visit in person
If you’re able, take some time and visit your prospective neighborhoods to gain a better feel of the neighborhood. Try to visit at different times during the week so you get an idea of how living there will be, including how it could affect your commute to work and school.
Figure out the community’s character
Each neighborhood has its own, distinct personality. Look for characteristics in your desired neighborhoods and determine if your family would fit in. Some qualities to look out for include:
- Demographics: Who lives in the neighborhood? Is it filled with other families or childless couples? Look at the area businesses as well. If you have small children, you probably don’t want to live that’s too close to a loud and vibrant nightlife.
- Neighborliness: How do your neighbors interact with each other, if at all. Is there a real sense of community or do most people keep to themselves while still mainlining a friendly vibe? Decide which neighborhood personality fits best with your family’s lifestyle and personality type.
- Community Activities: Are there a lot of community activities and events like block parties or parades? If you value these types of neighborly interactions, it’s good to find out if these types of events are common.
By asking the right questions and taking the time to do your homework, you will be able to find the perfect neighborhood for your family.