Deciding On a New Neighborhood

Considering a Move to San Diego

Moving to family focused San Diego equates to perfect weather, spectacular restaurants, access to everything from water sports to desert hikes and a world class research and university community. We recommend planning a trip to San Diego before deciding to move here. Learn more about the beauty San Diego has to offer - www.sandiego.org

If you are moving to a new city, whether or not it is in Southern California, you may find yourself "neighborhood shopping" as you decide where you should live. A few considerations to help guide you through the decision making process include:

Convenience

You may want to consider the location of the neighborhood in relation to activities you enjoy and errands you run on a regular basis. If you like to be able to run your errands in a timely manner, then be sure to look for a neighborhood in close vicinity of a commercial zone. Do you like to shop at a particular store or go to a certain type of gym? What about a neighborhood that is bikeable or walkable allowing you to bike or walk to your favorite eateries, stores or bars? If so, these are considerations to keep in mind.  How close is the new neighborhood to your office? Do you have children? What are the age groups of the other children in the neighborhood? Drive by at different hours during the day to see who is outside and what the "tone" of the neighborhood is like. You should consider the neighborhood’s location in relation to the school. Not only will it make life easier having venues you need nearby, but you will save time and money if you don’t have to drive too far for your day-to-day activities.

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Affordability of the Neighborhood

You know you need a house or apartment you can afford, but what about the rest of the factors involved? It is vitally important to find the total cost of living in the area that you are planning to move into. Will there be homeowner association dues or fees that you are not paying now? If you have to travel out of the neighborhood to find products and services you use all the time, you may end up frustrated by spending more time, as well as gas, tolls or ride share service costs. If everyone in the neighborhood is keeping their properties updated and in good shape, will you be able to maintain that same expectation if you are upgrading to a more expensive or larger property? Also take time to understand the property taxes and which community services will be included with your tax bill. Some locations have much higher taxes than others – make sure you understand why and where those dollars are being allocated in the budget. You may find a great savings in property taxes by moving just a short distance away from other properties that have higher property tax rates. This is primarily due to schools, libraries or community services within a zone, and may or may not have an impact on your affordability. You may not want to purchase your new home in a district where the taxes are higher when there may be a district only 1000 ft. away in some cases, where the properties are quite similar and taxes are lower.

Make a Visit

The best way to know if you are going to like a neighborhood is to visit and see how you feel. If you feel comfortable and confident when you visit, you will likely be comfortable and confident living there. Visiting also allows you to locate the best routes, and to see where the schools, parks and all of the stores that you plan to shop are located. Take a few trips through the same neighborhood to see what changes from time to time. Take notice of the others in the area when you are going from one location to the next. Are there small pockets of more desirable neighborhoods throughout the region, or are they concentrated together creating a group of larger communities. Check to see if access to the new location is easier or harder than what you currently experience, and what the trade-offs are when considering a new neighborhood.

 
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