How to Choose a Neighborhood


Choosing a neighborhood is one of the toughest decisions faced by homeowners. Before deciding on a house, it is crucial to figure out what you are looking for, do research and find a neighborhood that fits your description. Dooley and Mason Realtor Group has come up with 3 simple steps to help guide you in finding the right neighborhood for your home.


Step 1: Picturing your perfect neighborhood

Here are some points that you should consider when thinking about what you are really looking for in a new neighborhood.

Education: If you are a parent who has young children, then looking for the neighborhood with a good school system should be a top priority for your search.

Commute: Look up the distance and time it will take to commute to work every day. Do you plan on walking, driving, or taking public transportation? Do you own a car or is willing to get one for this purpose?

Convenience: Think about what the current community is lacking and are you willing to make compromises. Are there nearby attractions such as parks, lakes and recreational centers must have for your kids? Do you have to live within walking distance of shops, restaurants, and bars? Or are you comfortable with having to drive to nearby businesses?


Step 2: Contact local realtors for more information

Once you have settled on a certain area for your home, you should start digging up information for that area. Here is some background information that you might want to inquire your realtors about.

School Information: Look into local public and private elementary, middle and high schools, as well as daycare and afterschool programs.

Crime Statistics: Check on real estate websites for crime rates in your area and compare them to the national average. Also, reach out to local police to have a better understanding of the safety in your area.

Associations: Is there any neighborhood association in your area, and is there a yearly fee for it? Are there any lawn or construction restrictions in place?


Step 3: Play tourist for the day

Plan a day trip to your potential new neighborhood. Here are some tips to consider during your trip.

First Impression: Try to remember or jot down what you first notice about the neighborhood- how is the overall appearance of the streets, houses, shops, and restaurants? You’ll want to feel welcome and good about where you call home.

Daily Routine: Visualize yourself in the neighborhood. Are you comfortable with fulfilling your daily routine here? If it is easy to do what you like, it will be easier and more enjoyable for you to live in the neighborhood.

Multiple Visits: The neighborhood that you think you are moving into could be something completely different in the evenings or during the weekends. Try visit at different times to see what the neighborhood is like. This will give you a slight idea of what the life in the community is really like.

Warning Signs:  Be on the lookout for signs that the neighborhood is in trouble. Are there abandoned buildings or vandalism? Do you notice a lot of “For Sale” signs or rentals? Your house will lose value if the community goes downhill so it is better to be safe than sorry.

Future neighbors: Knocking on a neighbor’s door and asking about the area is perfectly normal. Try and get the neighbors to tell you more about the neighborhood- how are the other neighbors, is there anything undesirable about the area? Also, observe their behavior and attitude since you would want to live next to good, friendly neighbors.


Although the information we have provided may look overwhelming, searching for the perfect neighborhood will be worth the effort. Invest heavily in researching about the community and surrounding area will help ensure that you love your new location. These 3 steps should help guide you in finding what you are looking for. If you are looking for a home in North Reading, Lynnfield or Wilmington MA area, contact Dooley and Mason Realty Group, we will make sure to match your dream home to your list of needs.