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How to Choose a Neighborhood

How to Choose a Neighborhood That Suits You

As custom homebuilders, we believe that everyone deserves to live in a space they love — in an inspiring home that’s also a safe and relaxing retreat from the chaos of the outside world. But it’s not just your physical house that matters so much; it’s also the neighborhood you choose to call home.

Choosing a neighborhood can be a tricky situation, especially if you’re torn between two places that both have appealing benefits. After all, what could be better than living in the SoCo neighborhood, just a short walk from the vibrant and quirky boutique shops, music clubs, and restaurants? Then again, the Zilker neighborhood is a stone’s throw from the sprawling Zilker Park and ‘soul of the city’ Barton Springs Pool, making it one of the best places to live in Austin. With so much live music, outdoor greenery, and family-friendly fun here in the capital of Texas, how can you possibly choose?

We’re here to help you narrow down your search. We’ve compiled a list of the best tips to help you choose the perfect Austin neighborhood for your new home.

Affordability

There’s no escaping the fact that money has considerable weight in the decision of where we live. This applies to real estate prices, of course, but there are other financial factors to account for as well. Location greatly affects the cost of Austin homes; depending on where you live in ATX, your property taxes can make your monthly mortgage payments manageable or staggeringly expensive — even by the neighborhood! Here’s how to calculate what you’ll owe and how that will affect your budget.

It’s not just housing expenses that affect the affordability of an area; the cost of consumable goods varies greatly by area. Do some research to find out the average prices for groceries, utilities, and gas in your area.

Safety

With a 7.6 crime index score, Austin is a relatively safe US city. Still, we can’t always control what happens outside of our front door. What we can control is how much research we invest in finding the safest possible neighborhood. Start by researching local police websites or newspaper sites for statistics and crime rates for your desired neighborhoods, and see how they compare.

If crime is a particularly weighty issue in your decision, consider more personal methods of research. Stop by a police station and ask about the neighborhood. The officers will be happy to discuss your concerns about the neighborhood and give you an accurate opinion. Walk the streets during the day and keep an eye out for signs of vandalism like graffiti or broken windows, or even heavy safety measures like barred windows or home surveillance signage. You can also check the NextDoor app to see what your potential future neighbors have to say, and consider visiting the neighborhood at night to see how it feels firsthand.

Personal Recreation

If you’re an introverted homebody who prefers to curl up with a book and stick to indoor hobbies, you probably won’t prioritize Austin’s easy and frequent access to theater, live music, social events, and museums that a culture junkie will. But for many of us, it’s a make-or-break situation to live close to a place where we spend much of our free time, whether it’s a religious center, catching at UT football game, hiking the Greenbelt, or helping out in Austin’s community gardens.

Make sure that the ATX neighborhood you’re considering as your new home can support your hobbies — and the hobbies of those you live with — to ensure that you’ll always have a place for inspiration and relaxation at the end of a long work day.

Neighborhood Personality

It’s true that good fences make good neighbors. After all, everyone needs their privacy from time to time. Still, good neighbors can make the experience of living in your new neighborhood easier and happier than you’d think.

When you walk around in a neighborhood that you’re considering, be on the lookout for neighborhood meetings and block watches — these are signs of a close-knit community that prioritizes safety and is willing to take action. Take time for some casual observation: Are people spending time keeping up with their lawns and general home improvement? Do you see people sitting on their porches, playing with their kids, and walking their dogs? These activities suggest a community that takes pride in the neighborhood and looks out for each other and shared spaces.

Now that you know the most important tips for finding your Austin dream neighborhood, you can get to work on building the home of your dreams. Best of all, it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process. Contact us at Paradisa Homes and let us help bring your vision of your ideal home to life.

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