Relocating to a new neighborhood basically means marching into uncharted territory, so why would you rush? Take the time to cover all the bases in your research. If you also consider taking the following steps, you may feel better and less nervous about the big move.

Figure Out How Safe the Neighborhood Is

Given the fact that there’s more to a neighborhood than meets the eye, you shouldn’t assume anything about the area based on its appearance. As a prospective home buyer, you should err on the side of caution. There’s only one real way to get a good picture of how safe a neighborhood: visiting the local police station and talking to law enforcement agents and neighborhood watch members may provide some comfort or shed light on an issue not previously known. You may be able to find reports on crime rates to assess whether or not you’re moving into a danger zone or a family-friendly oasis.

Make Sure the Commute Is Favorable and Public Transportation is Accessible

Getting to work on time or ahead of schedule is going to be challenging if you have to maneuver your car through traffic jams and around potholes and other obstacles. With that in mind, you should also focus on the new commute time and related expectations. The closer the neighborhood is to your job site, the better! But did you know that the monotony of sitting behind the wheel can increase your risk of developing serious health problems like depression? Fortunately, using public transportation is an excellent alternative, as long as it’s accessible from your new home. Walk around your new neighborhood to get an idea of distance and the time commitment when commuting with public transportation. Remember: each time you leave your car in the garage, you’re helping protect the environment because your car isn’t adding to the pollution problem.

Know What’s Planned For The Future

Unless you have no alternative, it’s likely that you’re moving into the new neighborhood because you approve of it in one way or another. If however, some of these favorite features disappear or undergo a series of changes, chances are you’re going to be disappointed and possibly also quite puzzled. Therefore, it’s advisable that you try and learn about what adjustments are currently anticipated and/or likely to come down the proverbial pike. Will the nearby park get the axe next year? Are high-end stores coming to the area? Is the town going to be redistricted? With the answers to such questions, you’re bound to be in a better position to weigh the neighborhood’s pros and cons.

Go Where Your Family can Live Comfortably

If you’re seeking serenity, do you really want to live in proximity to a school? Perhaps you should prioritize such neighborhoods if you have school-aged kids. After all, the goal for you should be to find a neighborhood that suits your family’s needs. But be sure to explore the area at different times of day to get a good and realistic feel for the area, noise and activity included.

Evaluate the Neighborhood’s Entertainment Scene

Finding places to relax outside your home may be important you, whether it’s going to a nice restaurant, a concert, or a spa. Evaluate the neighborhood’s entertainment scene before your move. Start by asking several local residents for their opinions. Then, look at the venues that are nearby or in the surrounding area. Are there museums and health clinics, or nightclubs and bars? If you see the venues that you love to visit, you’re bound to feel more at home when you finally relocate.

Investigate The House Itself

If you believe that you’ve found the perfect house in the right neighborhood, you should dig below the surface to see if your belief is reasonably accurate—before you relocate and sell your house. Use NeighborWho to check out information about both the neighborhood and the house you plan on living in. You may discover some pleasant surprises, or even off-putting details. Talk to the current homeowners, and be sure to ask about pest infestation problems, recurring nuisances, and contentious neighbors. If you like the responses that you get, you’ll likely be able to settle down in your new home with confidence.

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