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Selecting a Neighborhood for Your New Home

Deciding on the location for your new home is an important step in the building process. There are many factors to consider when selecting a neighborhood in which to build and live. It is important that your new neighborhood offers the elements that satisfy your lifestyle.

Proximity is the first element to consider with selecting a neighborhood for your new home. Consider driving distance for all family members who will work outside the home. Evaluate the distances and locations of schools in the area including daycare, pre-school, elementary, middle, and high schools. Educate yourself about the strength and age of the school district. Are more families moving into the district that will support the schools or are families moving away? What is the tax base? You may want to think about your daily routine and the places you visit regularly. Think about what distance or length of time your are willing to travel to arrive at places you go to frequently such as the grocery store, department stores, restaurants, parks and recreational facilities, places of worship, and other businesses that provide services.

Often people select neighborhoods based on family ties to the area. Sometimes future homeowners choose to live in or near the area they grew up. It is an area they are familiar with and are comfortable continuing to live there. Other times, people select a neighborhood because it is close to family and friends allowing them to visit often.

Neighborhood safety is another important issue to review before choosing a neighborhood. Find out about emergency services in the neighborhood you are considering. Are there hospitals near by? Do the local fire and police departments serve your neighborhood? Will you have to rely on a volunteer fire department? Take time to research local crime statistics. Call or visit the local police station for details about neighborhood safety. Ask about any illegal activity in the area. Check with your insurance company to determine the impact of crime statistics on insurance rates. Evaluate the neighborhood for overall safety. Be sure to consider elements that help ensure safety of pedestrians and children. Are there streetlights and sidewalks? Are there stop signs posted at intersections? Are adjacent properties abandoned or occupied? Consider proximity to busy streets, railroads, creeks and lakes.

Become familiar with the community surrounding the neighborhood you are considering for your new home. Attend a few community events such as a picnic or ice cream social. Visit the community recreation center. Get a feel for the way members of the community interact. Find out about other activities and noteworthy items in the community by picking up a copy of the local newspaper or reading the community newsletter.

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