5 Ways to Test-Drive Your Potential Neighborhood

Are you planning on moving to a new neighborhood? Are you buying a new house? Are you finally going to be a homeowner? All of these are very exciting feats, but they also bring along with it anxieties over uncertainties or speculations about the potential neighborhood.

Just like you don’t buy clothes without making sure they are the right fit, and you don’t invest in a car without test driving it, buying a home requires the same level of testing, if not more. You need to check whether the neighborhood you’re moving into will offer the kind of lifestyle that you’re looking for.

But how can one test drive a neighborhood? Whether you’re looking for St Louis Park MN homes for sale or any other neighborhood, it doesn’t need to be a blind leap of faith. In this article, we are going to list down ways to test-drive your potential neighborhood.

Keep reading to learn more!

Talk to the Neighborhood Residents

A great way of finding out about the pros and cons of living in a particular neighborhood is by talking to the people who already live there. If you have friends or family members who already live in your potential neighborhood, then they should be the first people you reach out to. Make sure you ask them all about the advantages and disadvantages of living there. That will give you a clearer idea of what it would be like to live there.

If you don’t know anyone in the neighborhood, then you can ask to find online communities of the people in the neighborhood and ask questions there. You can look for a Facebook group or a Subreddit to know more about the life in your potential neighborhood.

However, always take these reviews with a grain of salt. Each person has different preferences and ideas for a good life, so make sure you can differentiate and only ask specific questions. Ask questions about things that matter the most to you, such as preferred activities, networking and business opportunities, local community, etc.

Test-Drive Your Commute

Commute needs to be your biggest consideration when test driving a potential neighborhood. The way you move in the community and your commute has a major impact on the quality of your life. You need to assess the walkability of the neighborhood. Can you walk to essential places, such as a grocery store, drug store, and the mall? If not, do you have the means of commute to get there?

If you prefer driving, how long does it take you to reach those places? If you don’t drive, is there a local transport option available? If yes, how accessible is it? All of these questions are what you must have answers to before you make the final decision of moving into the neighborhood.

The best way to go about this is to actually experience the commute that you’ll have. For example, consider driving to your workplace and see how it makes you feel. You can use public transport to get to the nearest grocery store. If it’s walkable, try walking at least once. All these experiences will give you a test-drive in the truest of sense.

Make sure you also check out how far or close the entertainment and food options are from you. Do you have easy access to restaurants, movie theaters, and bars? If you’re used to a certain type of food or if you have the habit of getting coffee on your way to work, would it be possible to do that while living in this neighborhood? You can also get help from Google Maps to find the places and get an estimate of distances and time of commute.

Research the Crime Rates

Security and safety are the top-most priority for new homebuyers. No one wants to move into a new house that is located in a violent neighborhood. However, the Fair Housing Act doesn’t allow real estate brokers to disclose the stats regarding crime rates. That is why it comes down to you to do the research and find out whether your potential neighborhood is the right place to live in.

There are several online tools available that can help you access crime data for particular locations. You can use Neighborhood, ScoutCityProtect, or AreaVibes to check out the crime statistics of your potential neighborhood. However, it’s important to keep your expectations realistic as no neighborhood is completely free from crime. You just need to assess whether it is below the high-risk category.

Check out Property Value Trends

This tip only applies to people who are buying property instead of renting one. If you’re planning on buying a home in the neighborhood, then you must consider the property value trends in the neighborhood.

Running this check will give you the information on whether the prices of homes in the neighborhood are increasing, decreasing, or remaining consistent. The property value trends allow you to make an informed and smart investment decision. Property value trends also give you information about the potential of a neighborhood based on its history.

Although property values don’t necessarily reflect the quality of life a neighborhood offers, it would be best if you still check, especially if you’re going for a long-term investment.

Experience Living Like a Local

The best way to figure out whether a potential neighborhood is the best choice for you is by living there. So, before you make the decision, consider renting an Airbnb or a motel for a couple of days and experience the local life. This will give you an in-depth insight into the quality of life offered by the neighborhood.

Final Thoughts

Moving into a new neighborhood can be daunting, but you can make a confident decision after doing a test-drive the way we discussed above. If you need help looking for homes for sale in Minnetonka school district or surrounding areas, then visit our website here!