3 Tips to Finding the Perfect Neighborhood
Walk-in closets, a kitchen island, a porch, a bonus room and an ensuite - these are probably some of the big features you and your family consider when you look for a brand-new home in Virginia. But beyond the home itself, have you thought about the type of neighborhood you want to live in? A good neighborhood can impact your quality of life almost as much as your new home. Let's take a look at a few things to consider when looking for a neighborhood that fulfills the needs and wants of your family.
Consider Your Current Needs
For families with younger children and teenagers, this will probably be one of the main priorities. Naturally, you'll want your kids to attend the best school possible, and you'll also be going there a lot (and at busy times) so the proximity to your ideal school can have a big impact. Once you find a prospective home, try doing a couple of trial runs to the school and back to see what your journey is like.
Your Work Commute
In a similar vein, you may be moving to a new area to start a new job. This is also somewhere you'll likely be travelling to and from daily. Is that one feature of a potential home worth it if the location adds another half-hour to your daily commute?
Space to Explore
If your family is active and you have several young children, you may be searching for a neighborhood with mature trees, a lake and open space all around. You may focus on finding a neighborhood with a nearby playground where kids can play safely and make friends with neighbors. Neighborhoods with natural surroundings are appealing to many families.
Nearby Restaurants and Shops
Maybe you and your spouse are recently retired. You may not want to travel far to get groceries, see a movie or visit the doctor. Or, maybe you and your spouse are newly married and want to live close to restaurants and entertainment options. In both cases, choosing a neighborhood with businesses nearby would be a priority.
But Don't Neglect Your Future Needs
You may have found a location that seems perfect now, but don't forget that a home is often a fairly long-term commitment. What will your family's situation look like five or ten years from now?
For example, if you have teenage kids who will be graduating in a year or two, maybe the school's location will be less of a priority for you. Is it worth moving closer to their school to make things easier for a couple of years if it means a longer work commute for you and your spouse for the next five or ten? Remember to weigh up the long-term benefits as well as the short-term.
If you have an infant or a toddler, he or she will want to start socializing with other little ones within the next couple of years. So, looking to the future, you may want to focus on neighborhoods with playgrounds and well-lit walking trails where kids and parents can meet.
If your children are reaching an age where they’re very active and curious to learn, living in a neighborhood with lots of recreational opportunities nearby is a strong choice. Museums, gardens, beaches and places to watch sports events are all possibilities when you live in a neighborhood like Mainstay at Yorktown.
What Amenities Are You Looking for in a Neighborhood?
Every neighborhood has its own unique features to offer the people who live there. For example, the Fieldstone neighborhood in Chesapeake has a collection of nearby shops in Greenbrier Mall. If you’re into golf, you can check out the Greenbrier Country Club or Battlefield Golf Club among others.
Other appealing features of Fieldstone:
- Princess Anne Athletic Complex
- The Stumpy Lake Natural Area
- Quality schools such as Greenbrier Elementary, Greenbrier Middle School and Oscar Smith High School
Alternatively, you could consider a neighborhood like Mainstay at Yorktown. It's located just a short distance from the Virginia Beach oceanfront, and close enough that a visit to historic Jamestown, Yorktown and Williamsburg is certain to top your list of activities. There’s also a bowling alley, shopping malls, restaurants, a golf club and, of course, beaches nearby. You won’t be at a loss for something to see or do!
Taking the time to examine the amenities and features of a neighborhood can help you move into a home in a setting perfect for your family.
Originally published Aug 7, 2019