Sometimes atmosphere is just as important to a living situation as the house itself. You want to feel comfortable and see yourself thriving in an area. The following methods can help figure out if the cultural landscape of a neighborhood is right for you.
Take a Walk
Before deciding whether to move, take a walk around the neighborhood to get an idea of what’s around the area. What kind of people are walking around? Is it mostly families? College kids? What kind of establishments surround the neighborhood? Recognizing people like you can help establish whether you might fit in.
Also, think about what you want out of an area and how this neighborhood might meet those needs. If you’re looking for a place to settle down and raise a family, you’ll want to make sure there are schools nearby, so a neighborhood conducive for children will be desirable.
Look at Demographics
In 2014, Niche ranked the Greenpoint neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y., as the No. 1 Best Neighborhood for Millennials based on its youthful demographics and racial diversity, among other factors.
Based on the numbers, someone of retirement age may want to reconsider moving to this area, as only 9 percent of residents are 64 and over.
Whether you’re on a walk or eating at a nearby restaurant in the neighborhood you’re considering, ask people whether they live there and what they think of the area. Chatting with people in the area not only gives you a ground-level view of the region, it also allows you to shadow a resident there. Gauge whether you feel comfortable or whether it simply doesn’t feel right to you.
Check Out Reviews
For those that aren’t able to chat it up with residents in a neighborhood, do it virtually via Niche Local, which offers neighborhood reviews on everything from Health & Fitness to Transportation to Crime & Safety:
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, residents won’t know what the cultural landscape of an area is like until they move there and experience it for themselves. However, there are ways to try to determine a good fit from a bad fit before you sign a deed or lease.