Relocating to a new area is becoming more common for many people.  Whether you’re moving across town or to the other side of the country, adjusting to a new area can be one of the biggest challenges you’ll face. No matter the reason why, moving can be a very hectic experience for anyone involved, so familiarizing yourself as much as possible about the new area will help minimize the additional stress. Learning everything you’ll need about an area- where to get groceries, the closest gas station to your commute, or even where to find great sushi – can certainly add to the adventure of moving to a new hometown! To help smooth the transition, here are some questions you can ask your realtor or even locals to help make moving transition easier for you and your family.

  • Find out about the nature of the neighborhood during all hours and days.
    If possible, make a trip and visit the neighborhood during different times of day and on different days of the week. Many times, buyers are too busy thinking about the purchase of the house itself, and forget to observe the area its located in. While you may only visit for open houses or tours during quiet afternoons or evenings, it can greatly benefit you to visit in different hours of the day. During the day, kids who like to play street hockey or ride bikes through the streets may be occupied with school. That five o’clock rush-hour traffic may mean busy streets for a few hours every evening after work. School or city bus routes can also lead to traffic congestion both in the morning and afternoons, along with long queues for school drop-off and pickup.
  • Ask about amenities and services.
    It’s good to know what a neighborhood offers before moving there. Do you have a preference to particular stores like a certain grocery store chain? How close do you want to be to all the amenities like parks, shopping, transportation, and more? What restaurants do you like to have nearby? While living far away from the hustle and bustle of busy commercial or retail areas might sound appealing, long walks or even drives can be inconvenient- especially in inclement winter weather. Also ask about the availability of local services, such as lawn care, medical care, public transportation, and waste management.
  • Ask what the area offers for lifestyle and entertainment.
    Everyone’s lifestyle is different, so be sure to think of what you like to have nearby. Gyms and parks are great for anyone who likes to get exercise on a regular basis. A nearby dry cleaners may be a priceless neighborhood location.  Having a mall nearby might make for convenient shopping excursions.
  • Ask about schools.
    Schools can tell you a lot about a neighborhood. Good schools are a crucial part to a healthy neighborhood and can also help an area maintain good property values. Even if you don’t have children, always look to schools as a good metric for neighborhood quality not to mention future resale potential. There are many great websites available that can give you additional insight to local schools.
  • Ask about your commute.
    If you know where you’re going to be working, it can be very beneficial to know what the best routes are in advance of making the actual move. Consider local traffic conditions throughout the hours of the day, alternate routes in case of road accidents or bad weather, and access to major roadways. Traffic can vary quite a lot between a smooth Saturday morning and a hectic Morning rush.

Before you commit to a new place to live, think about what currently contributes to your quality of life. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to make sure your next neighborhood or community has those same qualities and conveniences. Finding a neighborhood that has it all might seem difficult, but it can make the process of moving and beginning to live in an unfamiliar place much easier.