Choosing a neighborhood is one of the most important aspects of the home search. Neighborhoods encompass the schools children will attend and the people you will interact with on a daily basis. You’ll truly never feel at home in a house if you don’t love your neighborhood. To choose the right home, you’ll need to do a little bit of ground work. You should figure out exactly what you’re looking for in a home and a neighborhood, and then research to find an area that suits your needs. There are certain things that you should keep in mind to research for the neighborhood with the perfect fit. Below are some things that you should consider when looking for the best neighborhood for you. Make A List Think about what you really want in a neighborhood. Then, categorize your desires. Put a column for what’s high priority, then use other columns for less pertinent things that you’re looking for in a neighborhood. If you’re unsure of what exactly to put on this list here’s some ideas: Cool For School Do you have children or are you planning to have children? Every parent knows that one of the most important things to look for in a neighborhood is the quality of the school system. Parks and community centers are also key things to live close to if you have children. Keep in mind that property values in areas with sought after school systems are higher. Home Style What type of home are you looking for? The type of neighborhood that you move to will depend upon the home style that you’re seeking. Single family homes, condos and apartments tend to stay in clusters. Keep this in mind when searching for a home. What’s Your Commute Time? How far are you willing to commute to work? This can be a deal breaker in finding the perfect neighborhood. If you take mass transit to work or if you don’t own a car, this can also be a huge area of concern for you in choosing the right neighborhood to purchase your home. What Do You Value? If you love coffee shops, then you may not want to live far from a city center. If you love the beach, don’t pick a neighborhood that has you landlocked. Having access to the things you love and value has a lot to do with your own happiness in a neighborhood. When home searching, you should consider what your current neighborhood is lacking and see if you can find a place to fill that void. Visit the Neighborhood and Use Your Senses As you start on your research, check out the neighborhoods and get a feel for them. Get out of your car and walk around. Although it sounds strange, see how the neighborhood smells. Listen to the noise of the traffic nearby. Maybe you’ll even sense the quiet! Take a look at how the homes in the neighborhood are designed and if you could actually see yourself living there. Do Some Digging There’s plenty of ways that you can research neighborhoods from the comfort of your couch. You can always find crime statistics for certain cities online and even see school rankings throughout cities. Real estate agents in the area can also help provide you with the statistics that you’re looking for. Trust your gut when it comes to choosing a neighborhood. With a little intuition and some research, you’ll be able to choose a place to live that’s perfect for you!