How to Get a Feel for the Neighborhood Before You Move In

March 25, 2021

Finding a good apartment to live in that fits within your budget can be pretty tough, considering the way the housing market is going currently. Few things can be as discouraging as finding what appears to be the perfect new living space only to discover that the neighborhood isn’t what you hoped. It’s always better to know what it’s like before signing any lease, but how do you get a feel for the neighborhood beforehand?

Spend Some Time There

Spending time in the neighborhood yourself gives you a chance to get a feel for it firsthand. Since this can take a significant amount of your time, it’s probably best to limit this method to the properties you’re most interested in. According to Dumbo Moving & Storage, you should talk to the neighbors and ask them questions about their experiences. Check it out during different times of the day to get a more complete picture of what the area is like. While you’re at it, drive around to see what it’s like to commute to work or get to different stores or businesses you might frequent.

Check Property Reviews

Before you even checked out the apartment, there’s a good chance you took a look at the property reviews. People often look at property reviews to get a feeling for what other renters’ experiences were like with the properties themselves, but they can also provide valuable insight into the neighborhood too. According to Trustpilot, the most popular review platform can generate as many as 2.5 million reviews on the platform in a month (though not necessarily for just one property). That’s a lot of opportunities to find out about what a neighborhood is like.

Look at the Data

In addition to checking out the property reviews, take some time to check out the data on the area. According to the AMSA, you should look into local crime rates to find out the frequency and types of crimes common to the area. Check out the local school districts and see how close they are. You may find it helpful to investigate the local demographics too. Depending on your circumstances, looking at things like the overall age of the neighborhood or the presence of children can help you decide if it’s a neighborhood you’d be comfortable in.

Getting a feel for what the neighborhood is like before signing the lease can save you from being stuck with some less than desirable neighbors. Spend some time there to see what it’s like firsthand. Couple that with looking at property reviews and the data on the area. That should give you a feel for what you’d be walking into if you choose to move forward on the new apartment.

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