Photo by Jim Clark

Update: There’s plenty of complex reasons why you may want to move house, but one of the simplest reasons is that you just don’t like the neighborhood you’re currently in. It all depends of course on the kind of community feeling you want; if you’re looking to start a family, an inner city area where neighbors don’t see much of each other suddenly won’t seem like such a great place. Somewhere with bigger yards and safe parks is now going to be your priority. Neighborhoods can also change; when you first moved you may have lived in a quiet area with a few small local stores that have now been replaced by a giant supermarket and a steady stream of out of town traffic! Change is a fact of life so you may decide you want to make a change too.

Each neighborhood has it own characteristics. Some have big yards; some have small. Some have sidewalks and streetlights; some don’t. Some have many rental homes; some have few. Some are full of 1,000-square-foot houses; some only have 3,000-square-foot houses. In some neighborhoods, children play on the street all day long and friendly neighbors stop by to chat every day. In others, people keep to themselves and rarely wave as they drive by each other on the way to work. As much as we all would like to change some features of our neighborhood, many are out of our control. If the neighborhood doesn’t meet your needs, a move may be your only solution.

If you do decide to move to a new neighborhood, don’t assume you can easily tell what the neighborhood will be like from a few visits and assurances from a real estate agent. It is very difficult to understand all the intricacies of a neighborhood without spending months or years there. Even though you may not love your current neighborhood, carefully consider your decision to move to another neighborhood you believe is better. Make sure that it truly is better.

There are several good ways to learn about a neighborhood. One tried and true way is to visit a few of the neighbors. Knock on the door and introduce yourself as a possible new neighbor. If you go to five houses and no one will talk to you, then it is likely that the neighbors won’t be too friendly after you move in. If you end up visiting with a family for a half hour, then you probably will fit in very well. It is likely that you won’t experience either of these extremes, but you definitely will have a better feel for the neighborhood after talking to your would-be neighbors. Also try to visit the neighborhood during different times of the day and on weekends. The streets may be quiet at three in the afternoon, but busy when commuters drive through the neighborhood as a short cut to avoid traffic. You can also get statistics on the neighborhood, city, and schools from the resources found in the resource page of