Checking Out Your (Future) Neighborhood

In my opinion, the apartment itself is the most essential aspect of any lease.  Others will disagree, giving higher preference to neighborhood — some even to the commute.  But, no matter how you slice it — you’ll want to consider all three.

Last week we covered the apartment checklist. This week, let’s talk hood.

Do you know how to pick the best one for you? In an earlier post, we discussed whether you should pick a neighborhood based on it’s stereotypical reputation(kinda, actually).

Beyond determining whether you and it are good fits, you also should consider your future work commute.  I had to pick my apt before I found my most recent job and the hour commute is a KILLER. So, really think if a particular neighborhood is worth the 10+ hour commute you’ll face each week. Google has a pretty nifty map feature that can totally help you out. Check out what my lil sis has to say about this sweet  Google feature.

Also, be sure to test out the safety factor. Walk home from subway at night — late. Say, 2am.  If you don’t feel comfortable doing it, the neighborhood is NOT for you.

Finally, neighborhoods are chock-full of surprises.  They’re murky creatures and can change depending on the hour.  A quiet tree lined street can become madness at 7:30am  if it houses an elementary school.  Or, it can get crazy come 2 am when the corner bar empties out.

These are  neighborhood qualities you’ll only discover after careful, deliberate observations — so ask around if you can. Corner store owners are usually the unofficial neighborhood gossips, and if you buy a soda pop, they’ll surely talk your ear off.

It’s alot to think about, sure, but I promise you’ll be so happy you did!

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Author My First Apartment

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I've lived in apartments in 6 cities (including 2 foreign countries). Does that make me an expert? As of now, my ceiling isn't leaking and I don't have rodents (knock on wood) -- so I'm going to say yes . . . but ask me again tomorrow:) These days, I'm enjoying life Chicago style, but my years in Brooklyn are never far from my mind. P.S. By day I work at, but these opinions are totally, 100% my own.

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Comments (1)

  1. Sisko Sisko

    Here’s one more thing you should do before you sign the lease: Google the address. What you’d like to get back is nothing. What you don’t want to see is reports of landlord problems, criminal activity or anything else that would be major enough to get reported somewhere in the media or in official records.