Follow These 6 Tips to Find Your Perfect Neighborhood

Follow These 6 Tips to Find Your Perfect Neighborhood

For many of us, having the opportunity to move to a new neighborhood is an exciting time. A new group of friends, city, and day-to-day schedule can provide a pleasant change. But other people can struggle to find a neighborhood that fits their needs and their lifestyle.

It’s not always easy to narrow down your choices and select a neighborhood that will live up to all it’s supposed to be. That’s why we’ve put together this insider’s guide on how to find your ideal neighborhood and home for sale in Winter Garden or elsewhere in the Orlando area. Let’s get started!

Check out the property taxes in the area

The process of finding a perfect neighborhood is complex. There are dozens of factors that go into selecting the best area for you and your family. But it’s important to start the search from a practical frame of mind.

That’s why you should start by looking at the property taxes in your area first. Currently, the average property tax rate for Winter Garden in 2023 sits right above 1%. That’s slightly above the Florida average of 0.93% and quite a bit lower than the national average of 1.16%.

Calculating the property tax in your neighborhood won’t give you the whole picture, though. The tax rate can vary quite a bit from within one city, and it’s also important to talk with local real estate agents who can connect you with the most exact figures available at the time.

Calculate the cost of living the best you can

After you get a clearer picture of what you’re likely to pay for your home every year, it’s time to look at other common costs. Most people moving to a new neighborhood consider the following everyday cost of living charges:
  • Gas prices and transit costs
  • Healthcare and doctor visits
  • Monthly charges for utilities
  • Average cost of grocery staples
  • Added taxes
It’s always a good idea to dial in the cost of these everyday expenses as carefully as possible because they can add up and make a neighborhood affordable. Check with your local city hall to gather information about income taxes in your town. You may have homeowners’ fees if you live in a specific neighborhood. Call your insurance company to see if you’ll experience a rate hike once you move. Finally, check a reputable cost of living index.

Look into the level of comfort and stability

It can take time to get a sense of the day-to-day lifestyle of those who live in your new neighborhood. It can take years before you truly understand how your neighbors conduct themselves. But you can get a general impression early on. Drive around the area and look at the way people maintain their lawns. Look around to see if there is evidence of a lot of neglect or boarded-up buildings.

Take a leisurely walk with friends or family in one of your neighborhood’s more popular areas. What is the impression you get? Do you feel comfortable? Are proprietors of the businesses in the area kind or at least acceptable to you? Of course, you’re free to consult local statistics on the stability of the neighborhood, but it’s generally a better idea to ask a real estate professional for a more exact picture of what’s going on on the street.

Identify the transportation options

If you plan on commuting to work, school, and local businesses with any regularity, you’re going to want to know what the transit options and traffic is like in your neighborhood. No one wants to spend excessive time stuck on the highway or meandering around poorly organized surface streets.

It’s usually a good sign if your neighborhood offers several options when it comes to transit. Calculate how long an average commute time might be. Look up public transit options too. Drive around areas with a lot of foot traffic. Is the city walkable? Are there hiking trails and wide bike lanes? You should see evidence that city planners invite more people to experience all of town by foot, bike, or vehicle.

Find out how close you are to essential areas

Next, you’ll want to dial in how easy it will be to reach those essential businesses and parts of town that you’re going to visit daily. Regardless of the homes for sale in Winter Garden, you will always be closer to one business and further from others. However, some of the most common hotspots that residents are likely to visit regularly include:
  • Grocery stores
  • Schools and daycare centers
  • Shopping malls and boutiques
  • Downtown areas
  • Parks and fitness centers
  • Hospitals
  • Libraries
  • Farmer’s markets
  • Restaurants 
While it’s unlikely that you’ll be minutes away from every one of these sites, it can be a good idea to come up with a list of your favorite stores and businesses and rank them by order of importance. Are you happy with your specific location in the neighborhood? Are you willing to make slight concessions, or are you simply too far away from where you’d ideally live? Keep track of that.

Get used to the community

Finally, you want to spend as much time as possible experiencing the culture and character of your neighbors. Obviously, this is a step you’ll need to complete in person, so it can be difficult to do if you’ve never visited the neighborhood. You’re best off consulting with a realtor in the area to ask pointed questions about the lifestyle of people in the area.

You’ll want to ask about public life. Do people cherish their neighborhood parks? Do they hold block parties? Ask how family-friendly the neighbors are. On the other hand, are there enough nightlife areas and restaurants for parents to enjoy? Is there a good mix of generations? These are all questions you can answer for yourself or ask a realtor for their input.

Want to learn more about homes for sale in Winter Garden?

There you have it: a complete insider’s guide to the types of things you want to consider when searching for your next neighborhood. If you have any questions about looking for a neighborhood or Winter Garden real estate, reach out today! Contact Valstar Realty for more information.

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