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Trying To Find The Best Neighborhood For You? Find It By Using Our Handy Guide!

Trying To Find The Best Neighborhood For You? Find It By Using Our Handy Guide!

Disclaimer: The below is solely intended for informational purposes and in no way constitutes legal advice or specific recommendations.

Trying to find a new home can be a trying process, especially if you have your family’s needs to consider. You don’t just want to find a house that feels like home — you want it to be in a neighborhood that allows you to live both comfortably and safely. Luckily, NeighborWho has put together a checklist to help you in your search so you can focus on making the right decisions instead of wondering where to start!

Before you start looking…

Before you start looking for a new home in a new neighborhood, when you know that you want to move within the next few months, you may want to have a baseline idea of what you can afford and what you’re looking for. Having a budget is important, since you will likely be taking out a mortgage if you’re trying to buy a home, and you want to account for that and all other living expenses. Similarly, make a list of what’s important to you and your family, such as being close to a park, or being in an area with reliable public transportation.

  1. Agree on a budget.
  2. Create a list of priority amenities, neighborhood features, and recreational opportunities (bike lanes, park accessibility, entertainment).

Once you have an idea, start exploring neighborhoods.

Narrowing down the list of places where you may want to live can be difficult when there are so many great neighborhoods, but it may get easier when you start looking at the details.

Here are just a few considerations to make when choosing a neighborhood.

  1. Accessibility to public transportation: even if you anticipate relying on a car wherever you live, it may be a good idea to live somewhere where public transportation is reliable enough in the event of an emergency.
  2. Proximity to highly-rated schools: This is important if you have children, but even if you don’t, you may want to pick a neighborhood based on the quality of the schools nearby: houses in the vicinity tend to be of higher value.
  3. Commuting time: Your commute to and from work may take up a significant portion of the day, depending on where you live. Evaluate how long you’re willing to travel — and don’t forget to account for traffic and the cost of tolls and gas!
  4. The type of environment: Whether you want to live in the city, the suburbs, or somewhere in between, you should feel content with your choice of environment. A too noisy, or adversely, a too-quiet life may not be your cup of tea.
  5. Proximity to amenities: Chances are, you won’t be able to get everything you want in one square mile, or even in the same neighborhood. But you may want to pick a community where most of what you want is quickly accessible either by foot or by car. There may be a grocery store around the corner, but the dry cleaners is fifteen minutes away! Check your list of priority amenities for a better evaluation of a neighborhood.
  6. Community: Do you want to live in a tight-knit community? Or would you prefer to stay anonymous? This may be an important factor to you, especially if you live far away from a city or town. Talk to the locals for a better idea of what life is like, and check out the community center, if there is one.
  7. Crime rates: Generally, families want to avoid areas with a high crime rate, but the safety level of a neighborhood may not be immediately apparent. Visit the neighborhood’s local police station for more information.
  8. Property tax rates: The price of a home is one thing, but the property tax rates can make or break the decision to live in a certain neighborhood.
  9. Cost of living: Finally, take into account the cost of living in a certain neighborhood: are the amenities priced higher than you’re accustomed to? If the cost of living there doesn’t fit into your budget, you may want to consider a different area.

Before you move…

Congratulations! You’ve made your choice of which neighborhoods you could live in, and may have even found your dream home. If you have already checked out the neighborhood, that’s a great start. But before you move, you may want to get to know your new home a little better. Here are some tasks you may want to accomplish before move-in day.

  • Walk or drive around the area to get a feel for it. If you have kids, visit schools, libraries and playgrounds.
  • Talk to people in the area, maybe even your new future neighbors.
  • Visit a local shop or restaurant to get an idea of what life can be like.
  • Use local public transportation, especially if you’re going to be using it regularly.

While you’re getting used to your new neighborhood, ask yourself: Will I be happy here? Ultimately, trust your gut: your level of happiness while spending time in a certain area may be a good barometer for how you may feel when you live there!

Want to know more about your neighborhood? Plug an address into NeighborWho’s property finder and see what you can find!

9 Totally Doable Tricks To Make Any Small Room Look So Much Bigger

9 Totally Doable Tricks To Make Any Small Room Look So Much Bigger

For those of us accustomed to small, narrow rooms, no space to move around, and having to make the best of a less-than-ideal situation. Over the past few years, I’ve learned to fit my life in a five-by-five box, so to speak: I’ve mastered the art of downsizing as much as possible without sacrificing comfort. I’ve picked up a few decorating tricks along the way, and using them in my room made a huge difference in how I use it. And the best part? I was try them all on a low budget! Check out the 9 totally doable tips to make any room seem much bigger — and yes, even your bathroom!

1- Eliminate all furniture you don’t use.

A crucial first step in making your small room look bigger is removing all the furniture you don’t actually use. Even the smallest stool can take up valuable floor space. And yes, that means also getting rid of that chair you’re convinced you’ll sit in to read one day, but that is actually used as a dumping ground for laundry. Once you declutter your room, chances are you’ll realize that there’s a lot more space in your room than you thought!

2- Hang long, light-colored or sheer curtains, or forgo them altogether.

If you want to make your room look larger, you may want to forgo hanging up curtains. Drapes can make your space feel more enclosed, and dark-colored ones can absorb light. If you must hang up curtains for privacy, opt for sheer or light-colored ones that hang well above the top of the window to make your ceilings seem higher.

3- Strategically place mirrors.

Hang or prop up mirrors opposite of your windows. They can reflect light and disperse it around your room, making it look bigger and brighter. Mirrors may even reflect the view outside, which can make your space feel more open.

4- Invest in multifunctional furniture.

If there’s room in your budget for replacing furniture, it may be a good idea to make some swaps. For a small living room, try a coffee table that transforms into a desk, for example, or even a smaller dining table that can extend in the event that you have more guests. Combining two pieces of furniture in one can save you a ton of space!

5- Buy floor-to-ceiling bookcases.

If you want your ceilings to look higher and save on space at the same time, invest in a floor-to-ceiling bookcase. This piece of furniture can house anything from books to knickknacks, leaving more space for other items you want to keep. Like long curtains, a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf can make it seem like your ceilings are higher than they actually are.

6- Get clear furniture.

Clear furniture, like glass coffee tables, may allow you to see more of the floor and the walls. They can help the room feel more open, and items appearing behind them will seem further away, creating additional depth in a room.

7- Show some leg.

The legs of your furniture, that is. Exposed furniture legs, especially on larger items, can trick your eye by allowing you to see more floor space. They may also draw the eye upward, creating the illusion of light.

8- Pull furniture away from the walls.

This may be counterintuitive, but pulling furniture away from the walls is must when trying to make a small room seem bigger. This may create the illusion of spaciousness. The space doesn’t have to be be huge — just a few inches can do the trick! It doesn’t have to be empty space, either: place a console behind a sofa, for example, and it can also serve as great way to display smaller items like figurines or vases.

9- If you have to pick a pattern, pick stripes.

Stripes can help elongate a space, so you may want to pick a carpet or a light-colored wallpaper with that pattern. The most effective way to use stripes in your smaller room is to orient them to that they go the length of the room that is the longest.

Having a small room doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort. There are so many ways you can make the most out of that room, and it doesn’t stop at these tips!

Want to know more about your neighborhood? Plug an address into NeighborWho’s property finder and see what you can find!

Organize Your Kid’s Cluttered Room With These 10 DIY Storage Hacks

Organize Your Kid’s Cluttered Room With These 10 DIY Storage Hacks

Getting a child to clean their room isn’t easy, and as your kid begins collecting an increasingly large collection of toys, stuffed animals, art supplies, and clothes, you may find yourself at a loss for how to keep it all neat and tidy for more than a day. You can only buy so many bins and crates before you run out of space. So if you’re a parent who’s running out of storage ideas, here are a few easy DIY projects to help you organize that mess!

1- Repurpose coffee cans

You can give those large coffee canisters a second life with just a pair of scissors, some colored paper, glue or tape, and some markers. Cover up the label with paper and create a whole new container. These can be used to store items like crayons, Matchbox cars, doll clothes, legos, and so much more! This is a pretty easy DIY project that can be done with your child.

2- Use Legos to organize a desk

Whether your child has a set of Legos or a crate full of them, you can easily use a few to make a desk organizer of any size. Assemble the Legos in the shape of a pen cup and seal the pieces together with super glue. Get creative and ask for their help to come up with fun, colorful designs with the pieces!

3- Old planters make great storage

Do you have old, rusty planters you don’t have a use for, and that are just gathering dust in your garage? If so, you’re in luck. You can easily repair, paint, and hang them on your child’s walls for easy storage space. Put your kid’s stuffed toys in them, so they’re always in view and easily reachable.

4- Make a hanging bed organizer

Did you know that old quilts can make great bedside storage spaces in just a few steps? Fold a quarter of the quilt over, length-wise, and sew along the crease. Then, sew over the folded part of the quilt vertically to form pockets. Tuck the loose half of the quilt under your child’s bed and you have the perfect place to store books and other knick knacks they like to play with before their bedtime.

5- No closet? No problem

Whether your child’s closet is on the smaller side or if it’s entirely non-existent, this storage hack can make hanging clothes a possibility. With two pieces of ribbon, hooks, and a fake tree branch (you may find these at a crafts store), create a hanging rack that’s not just functional, but aesthetically pleasing, too.

6- Chalkboard paint can go a long way

While chalkboard paint may not be a storage hack, it can help you label existing bins, boxes, hooks, and shelves more easily. If you’re feeling particularly creative, apply the chalkboard paint to a hard surface that you can then frame for a fancy touch.

7- Create a fine art gallery for your kid’s artwork

A corkboard, a clothesline, thumbtacks, and clothespins may be exactly what you’re looking for. If you’re a parent who has no clue what to do with your kid’s artwork (and if your fridge is running out of space), a small investment in these craft items can solve the problem. String the clothesline across the cork board and hang up those works of art that you’re so proud of!

8- Shoe hangers don’t just have to be for shoes

Use shoe hangers with plastic pockets to create extra storage solutions for your child’s toys. These hangers fit snuggly behind doors, and can hold any number of items, from dolls to toy cars.

9- Turn milk crates into shelves

Glue colorful milk crates together to form cubbies for toys, books, and even small bins — just don’t forget to secure the crates to the wall for safety!

10- Magnetic strips

Screw magnetic strips to the wall for a hassle-free way to keep small, magnetic toys out of the way, yet still in plain view. That way, you’re not stepping all over them as soon as you enter your child’s room!

These are just a few storage hacks and solutions you may be able make yourself, in the comfort of your own home. The possibilities are endless, but the most important part of any project is to just have fun doing them!

Want to know more about your neighborhood? Plug an address into NeighborWho’s property finder and see what you can find!