Vonage Blog

Moving to a New Neighborhood? Tips to Research a New Neighborhood

When moving, there’s a number of steps to take and even more questions to ask before taking action.

It doesn’t matter if you’re renting or buying, you should always know your rights as an owner or renter. Every state has a “tenant’s handbook” that can be ordered for free or viewed online at the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development website.

Simply select your state and check out the tenants’ rights page.

While you’ll need to do a lot of the footwork on your own, you may want to seek assistance from a real estate agent. Before doing either however, it’ll be a good idea to do an online search first. The most popular realty sites allow you to search for new homes based on multiple criteria – including room numbers, home or rental, and price.

So say you’re moving to another country or state — somewhere too far for regular home or apartment searches to take place.

However, you can always use Google Maps’ Street View tool to get a better look at the streets and layout. A home is more than a roof and four walls; it’s also the neighborhood. A quick search of Yelp and other social review sites will give you a good idea if the restaurants and shops in a prospective area are up to snuff.

Another great site for property-related numbers and information for anyone moving to a new neighborhood is Trulia.com. It can tell you everything you’ll need to know about particular homes and apartments, including property taxes, purchase histories, selling costs of other nearby homes and more.

Just to be safe…if you still need more help, Padmapper.com is a cool visual tool for filtering your search based on location, price and amenities.

Before even considering a move to a new neighborhood, you’ll also need to make at least one extended visit. That way, you’ll discover if the neighborhood lines up with your desires. If you like theatre, dining out and bookstores, will there be enough of that in your new neighborhood? Do you like a quiet street or the hustle and bustle? What’s traffic like? Is it safe? Make sure you see what the neighborhood is like during the day and night.

But the best way to find out if a neighborhood is a good fit is to ask the locals. Usually, residents are proud of where they live (otherwise, why live there?), and will be more than likely to help answer any questions you have. Be open with the fact that you’re considering moving to a new neighborhood (theirs) and that you wouldn’t mind hearing what they think of the area. And if they happen to live in the building you’re looking at or in a property managed by the same person or company you’d be going through, take the time to inquire about landlords — if basic amenities are met, if repairs are timely, if street level noises at different times of the day and night are not as they’re promised in the property description, etc. Get it from the source and you’ll feel a whole lot more at ease when you finally do move in.

We hope this guide has been helpful for any of you considering moving anytime soon.

If you’d like to learn more about moving with Vonage and how you can keep your number when switching to Vonage, simply click the link.