How to Choose the Right Neighborhood When You’re Moving to Austin

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Are you moving to Austin but unsure of how to choose the right neighborhood for your specific situation?

It’s understandable. After all, there are tons of options, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed.

But don’t let the stress of decision-making and moving blur your judgment, or you’ll end up somewhere that doesn’t really fit with your lifestyle. Instead, keep reading, and you’ll learn everything you should do to choose the best Austin neighborhood for your wants and needs.

How to Choose the Right Austin Neighborhood For YOU

Write down everything you’re looking for in a neighborhood.

Before you do anything, create a profile of your ideal neighborhood. If others will be moving with you (spouse, roommate, kids, etc.), get them involved in the process too!

While everyone may not be in complete agreement about what the perfect neighborhood looks like, this exercise can still give you some great insight into what you and your loved ones want. Then, when you’re looking at potential neighborhoods later, you can reference what you’ve written down.

Think about commute times.

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Even the most perfect home in the most beautiful neighborhood can be a pain to live in if you have to spend tons of time commuting every day. Before you decide on a neighborhood, drive to and from your workplace to see how long it takes. Make sure you do this during regular traffic hours so you can get an accurate idea of the time.

Also, if you’re married or have a roommate, have them calculate their commute times too. You should choose a neighborhood that works for everyone if possible.

And if you have kids, don’t forget to calculate how long it’ll take for you to get to your child’s school. The last thing you need is a hassle every morning trying to get your kids out the door extra early.

Check out the local attractions.

When you’re considering moving into a neighborhood, spend lots of time driving around nearby to check out the local attractions. Before you do this, you’ll want to make a list of all the things you’d like to know are within easy driving distance, which could include:

  • Grocery stores
  • Coffee shops
  • Shopping malls
  • Clubs and bars
  • Dog parks
  • Bike trails
  • Airports (especially if you travel often for work or pleasure)
  • Parks and nature preserves
  • Movie theaters and other entertainment
  • Highways and public transportation

 

Of course, what you’ll want to look for will depend on your own personal priorities. Think about the activities you enjoy the most (like hiking at the park, for example) and the activities that are necessary (like going to the grocery store), and write your list based on that.

Don’t forget to include the people who are moving with you in this process by asking them about the attractions they’d like to have easy access to. By doing so, you’ll help ensure that everyone is happy living in the new neighborhood – not just you.

Drive through neighborhoods you’re considering to find out who lives there.

If you’ve got a spouse and a few kids, you probably won’t want to live in a neighborhood full of rowdy college kids who party every night. On the other hand, if you’re a rowdy college kid, you probably won’t want to live in a neighborhood full of families who will be understandably upset by the amount of noise coming from your home.

See what I’m getting at here? It’s important to look for a neighborhood where you’ll be able to easily fit in and meet like-minded people.

So, drive through the neighborhood you’re considering several times to try to scope out the types of residents living there. You’ll thank yourself later when you make a wise decision about where to live that allows you to be on good terms with all of your neighbors.

Stay within your budget.

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Let’s face it – when you’re shopping for a home, it’s easy to get carried away and give in to the temptation to buy more house than you can afford.

But don’t do that. You have to keep in mind that there are lots of hidden costs involved with buying a home (maintenance, etc.), so your mortgage payment is just one part of what you’ll need to pay regularly to live in your new home.

That’s why it’s important to choose a neighborhood that includes houses you can realistically afford. You can research home prices in a specific neighborhood on sites like Zillow and Trulia.

Check crime rates.

When you’re deciding on a new neighborhood, safety is extremely important. You never want to live in a neighborhood where you feel like you’re constantly putting yourself at risk, especially if you have children.

So, use MyLocalCrime or a similar website to see recent crimes that have taken place in your neighborhood. You can also use Neighborhood Scout to see a full description of any neighborhood you’re considering, including detailed crime rate information.

Think about the future.

For example, right now, you may be married with no children. But if you’re thinking about growing your family in the next few years, you’ll want to keep that in mind when you choose a neighborhood and pick somewhere that would be ideal for kids.

Trust your gut.

If you drive through a neighborhood and immediately get a bad feeling about it, that could be a good sign that you shouldn’t live there.

While you can’t always rely on emotional reactions for sound decision-making, you should take those reactions into considerations and dig deeper to try and figure out why you may have reacted the way you did. You want your new neighborhood to feel like a place you’re happy to call home, and that may not happen if you’ve got a bad feeling about it from the start.

Still feeling unsure about where to live in Austin?

If so, get in touch with me today. I’ve helped tons of people find the right neighborhood and home in Austin, and I’d love to help you next!