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Preparing to buy in Chicago and wondering which neighborhood is right for you? You’re not alone. Many homebuyers face this dilemma of choosing the right neighborhood. The good news is that with some preparation, you can easily narrow it down to the best neighborhood for you. Here are the most important things you’ll want to consider as you begin your neighborhood search:
Make Your List
Before you start thinking about specific neighborhood options, think about yourself. What is important to you in a neighborhood? Do you prefer living in a more urban area with energy and events, or do you prefer a more quiet and calm setting? Where are the places you spend the most time other than your home? Consider your and your partner’s offices, kids’ schools, gyms, friends’ houses, and other community spots you frequent. You really want to get honest about the lifestyle you want to create before you move. Boil that down to your top priorities in a neighborhood, and create a list to help keep you grounded in your search.
Your budget can also help you narrow down your neighborhood search. Take a look at the market in different areas. See what similar houses are selling for. This can give you an idea if a neighborhood is in your budget or not. It’s also worth investigating property taxes in areas you’re considering. This can help you get a sense of expenses beyond the purchase price which is useful information for many buyers.
Commute and Transport
What is your preferred method of travel? Do you mind driving through the city? Would you rather use public transportation? Maybe walking or biking to work is a top priority for you? It’s important to think about how you’ll get around from your new neighborhood. Is it in close enough proximity to things if you enjoy traveling on foot? What are the transit options available? These are important considerations because they’ll impact your day-to-day life in an area. Make sure you consider how you’ll get around before you pick a place to settle.
All homeowners want to feel safe in their new homes, and getting some information on an area before moving there can help you do that. Looking online is a great place to start. You can check crime ratings and neighborhood reviews to get a sense of the place. Once you have a few neighborhoods that you’re considering, head into the police station for even more information. Talking to local police can help you determine if the neighborhood is right for you. It can also help you make an initial connection with some important community members.
While no one can say for certain how a neighborhood will change over time, it’s wise to look to the future and explore any trends that might impact your potential new area. If a neighborhood is rapidly developing, prices may climb. The vibe may also change.
Finally, what does a neighborhood have to offer in terms of amenities? And which are most important to you? Maybe you have young kids, so playgrounds and parks top your list. Perhaps you often work remotely, so having a few great cafes is important to you. The possibilities are endless, and everyone will have different priorities. Take the time to identify what’s most important to you so you can see if a neighborhood fits the bill.
Chicago has many options for homebuyers to choose from. From living in the center of downtown to a suburban neighborhood, those buying in Chicago will have many choices. Taking the time to reflect on what’s important to you and do the research to get the information you need is essential. Any other suggestions for finding the right neighborhood? Please share them!