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Checklist for Finding the Right Neighborhood for You

outside view of a place

 

If you’re moving to an entirely new area, trying to figure out which neighborhood to search for a home in can feel a bit overwhelming. Not to worry, we’re here to help you find the perfect one.

 

Let’s start with your priorities. Here is a list of things to consider when choosing a neighborhood. Rank them in order of importance (including your own points that aren’t included on our list) and use that a guide to follow when checking out different areas.

 

Cost

What your budget is can obviously play a big role in which neighborhood you end up in.  Although we all wish money wasn’t a factor and we could just find our dream home, it’s good to keep in mind when considering priorities.

 

Schools

If you have kids, or plan to have kids, you may want to buy in a highly sought after school district. Proximity to schools will be a consideration. Check out our school ratings map for the Portland area to get an idea of what you’re looking for.

 

Proximity to neighbors

Consider how close you are willing to live to other people. Would you be okay with condos or apartments or would you prefer a large yard separating you from your neighbors?  

 

Travel times

How far are you willing to be from work, school, grocery stores, the hospital, the gym, etc. Think through the places and time of days you need to be going between these places and how much time you are willing to spend in the car.

 

Involvement in the community

Are you one to get involved in local events, committees, and clubs or would you rather  know as little as possible about community affairs? Paying attention to what events are happening in the areas you are looking will give you an idea of how much or little locals are getting involved.

 

Noise level of neighborhood

Do you prefer living in neighborhoods where things settle down and are quiet at night or are lively at all hours? For example, living in neighborhoods that are in the middle of the city or by a college campus will probably be much noisier at night.

 

Walkability

If being able to easily reach amenities in your neighborhood by walking is important, make sure to include this on your list. Not all neighborhoods have a high walkability score, meaning you will be driving everywhere.

 

Restaurants and Bars

Depending on how often you eat out and what kind of restaurants you want when you do, knowing what is available around the neighborhood can be helpful to know ahead of time. For example, some neighborhoods have numerous small, locally owned restaurants while others primarily have chains.  

 

Access to public transportation

If driving isn’t your thing, knowing the local public transportation routes are a must. Portland’s public transportation is called TriMet. You can see their different routes here.

 

Resale value

If you know you won’t be living in this home forever, resale value will likely be a significant factor in the neighborhood you choose. Finding an experienced local real estate agent will help you a great deal in researching which areas are strongest in this respect.

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