When shopping for a home, most people take their time searching for the perfect house. The question is, how much time should be spent searching for the right neighborhood as well? To find the superb setting for your new home, the house and neighborhood need to offer what your family desires.  The following information should be helpful when trying to determine if a neighborhood is right for you.

Paint a mental picture of your perfect neighborhood.  Write a list of the characteristics your ideal neighborhood would possess, taking into consideration your long and short term needs. Then answer the following questions:

  • Do you have or plan to have children ?
  • How far are you willing to commute ?
  • How much property do you want surrounding your home ?
  • Are you looking for a rural or urban setting ?
  • Do you prefer a historic neighborhood or one with more modern homes?
  • Would you be comfortable in a neighborhood with lots of noise and activities or would you prefer a more quiet serene one?

With these questions answered you now have a clearer idea of the characteristics you want in your new neighborhood.  This should help to narrow your search area.  Start by scouting around neighborhoods that appear to fit your established criteria.  For example, search a radius around your place of employment using your determined maximum commuting distance.  You may find that an additional 2 miles added to your commute will put you into the neighborhood of your dreams.

Once you have located a neighborhood that meets your specifications, it’s time to dig a little deeper.  Visit the neighborhood at different times of the day and during the weekend to get a true feel for the environment. Look for the warning signs of a troubled neighborhood such as abandoned buildings, vandalism, and poorly maintained streets and sidewalks.  Talk with people in the neighborhood and see if they will share the pros and cons of living in the area.

Local officials should be able to answer your questions regarding the following:

  • Population demographic
  • School system
  • Crime statistics
  • Property values and tax rates
  • Local entertainment, shopping and dinning

Choosing the right neighborhood will make the transition to a new home much easier for you and your family.  The extra time and energy spent researching will be well worth it.

 

Bringing home baby can be stressful but making sure your home is safe for baby is a part of being a new parent. You may think that there isn’t much a newborn can do or get into but before you know it your tiny little baby will be toddling around and getting into everything.

Here are some quick baby proofing tips to get you started:

-Check the crib slats and make sure they are no further than 2 3/8th inches apart.

-No soft bedding, blankets or toys in the cribs which can cause suffocation.

-Remove hanging cords and secure them from window blinds and treatments.

-Plug all electrical outlets.

-Set the water heater to no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

-Install locking lids on all toilets.

-Store poisons, including medications in a high cabinet. All medications and toxic chemicals should also have safety lids.

-Use foam corners to soften all the hard and sharp corners of tables, the hearth etc.

-Install baby proof locks on drawers and cabinets.

-Door locks and hinge protectors are also good ideas for doors to rooms and closets.

These are just a few tips for baby proofing your home. You can find more information on how to keep kids safe from the American Academy of Pediatrics at HealthyChildren.org.

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