When you undertake a move to a different city or town, you’ll be settling into a new neighborhood. Every neighborhood has its own character, a unique mix of homes and businesses, green spaces and recreational facilities, churches, and schools. Neighborhoods are as different as the people who comprise them. So how do you find a neighborhood you will be comfortable in? A place where you will feel more than a passing kinship with your neighbors?
Here are a few resources you may find useful as you go about finding your perfect fit.
Your real estate agent. In general, realtors who have earned the CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) designation are more knowledgeable than agents who have not. Talk to your agent about your expectations for property values, schools, walkability, noise and light pollution, safety—any and all quality-of-living aspects that are important to you.
Online resources. Several websites compile information on neighborhoods precisely to let people know whether they might want to locate there.
- Area Vibes lists statistics on livability, amenities, cost of living, crime, education, employment, and housing.
- You can talk to residents and those with firsthand knowledge of a city’s neighborhoods via the discussion boards at www.city-data.com.
- Neighborhood Scout offers a subscription service that lets you explore neighborhoods by zip code.
- You can see how amenable an area is for walking, biking, and public transit via a score (0: worst to 100: best). For a map and table of cities (pop. 200,000 and above) where these scores are published, go here.
- Where are the best schools located?Just enter a zip code and see for yourself at GreatSchools.org.
- Atlas Van Lines provides quality-of-life research on many cities in the U.S. and Canada with city guides. You can view these here (U.S. City Guides) and here (Canada City Guides).
- You can see a fairly extensive set of data for areas by zip code at bestplaces.net. In addition to typical census-type information, the site also aggregates data on the cost of living, healthcare, and climate.
- Google Maps provides photo views by address as well as a tool for locating nearby dining, lodging, and transportation resources.
- Personal Visit. The best way to see what a neighborhood is like is to drive or walk around in it.
If you are planning a visit to the Pittsburgh or Cleveland areas, let us know. There are lots of great neighborhoods in both cities. Our Weleski storage and warehouse movers have been in and out of every local neighborhood many times. Tell us about your expectations and our furniture movers will recommend some areas you may like to consider.