Finding the Right Neighborhood

Finding the Right Neighborhood

Deciding where to put down roots and finding the right neighborhood for your family can seem overwhelming, but with a few tips and resources it can be an exciting experience! From affordability, to safety and transit, there are a few key things to consider in your search.

The first thing to consider when searching for the next neighborhood you want to live in is affordability. Determine if you plan to rent or buy, what your budget is and what financial resources may be available to you. For example, if you are a resident of DHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program, make sure there are some home options in the neighborhood that accept vouchers and work with your case manager to complete the proper forms. Additionally, if you are looking to buy a home, make sure to consider what your monthly payments would be.

For families with children, finding the right neighborhood goes beyond just affordability. It is also important to consider which schools and school districts those neighborhoods would feed into. If you don’t want your child to change schools, check with a school administrator to make sure the neighborhoods you are interested in fall into your child’s school district zone. Do research on the schools and opportunities your child would have as a part of the neighborhood and make sure it’s a good fit for their educational and personal development.

Additionally, factors like transit and mobility should be a big part of your consideration process when finding a new neighborhood. Seek areas in close proximity to your place of employment, as well as doctors’ offices, grocery stores and public transit stations. Doing so will help shorten your commute, make your transportation more efficient and help you stay plugged into the community. Picking a neighborhood close to several public transit options is also beneficial because it can provide you with multiple modes of transportation even if your primary mode of transit faces issues. It’s always a great idea to have several options to rely on!

Finally, be sure to do your research on the neighborhood to be aware of any potential safety concerns. Look into the number and types of crimes that are committed and visit the neighborhood both during the day and at night to know that you feel comfortable at all times.

 

Doing the Research

As mentioned above, doing the research is a really important part of finding the right neighborhood for you. Staying organized throughout your home search, keeping track of applications and using the resources available to you is going to key in finding the right home for you and your family.

Before you begin your research, make sure you feel equipped to keep a checklist of important steps in the home-search process. Set up a system to track steps such as looking for a home, applying, application acceptance/denial and whether or not you’ve officially secured housing. Staying organized from the very beginning will help you stay on top of your research.

Next, make a list of your requirements and requests and use those to help form your search. Utilizes resources available to you to help you learn about neighborhoods, housing, schools, job opportunities and any other requirements on your list. Websites like Neighborhood Scout and realtor.com provide overviews and insights into neighborhoods. These sites allow you to search for specific neighborhoods, cities and zip codes to view stats on things like crime, demographics, schools, average income, average job and more.

Additionally, if you know you want your child to attend a specific school or district, you can visit the district’s website to find out which neighborhoods are zoned for that school. This will help you narrow down the list to only the neighborhoods that feed into your child’s desired school.

Finally, if you are trying to find a neighborhood based off employment opportunities, the Chamber of Commerce is a great place to start. Did you know there are over 200 chambers in North Texas alone, each serving a specific population or even demographic of people? View the complete list of Texas Chambers of Commerce to find out about neighborhoods with employment opportunities that may be of interest to you. Additionally, Workforce Solutions of Greater Dallas and Generation USA are two great resources that are able to connect you with neighborhoods and job opportunities near you.

 

How to Connect with Property Managers & Landlords

It’s no secret that forming a good relationship with your landlord or property manager is going to work in your favor. Presenting yourself as a responsible tenant allows you to establish trust between yourself and your landlord. If you have a trusted relationship with your landlord, he or she will be much more apt to accommodate your requests or respond efficiently in maintenance situations.

Building a connection with your property manager or landlord may seem difficult but doing a few simple things can really help you establish credibility as a tenant. Below are a few tips to help you connect:

  1. Make payments on time – perhaps the quickest way to establish credibility as a tenant is to make your payments on time. Making payments on time shows your landlord you are a committed, reliable and responsible resident. If you foresee an issue with making a payment on time, make sure to communicate that and work something out with your landlord as soon as possible.
  2. Be friendly – try not to be frustrated if your landlord has questions or wants to stop by real fast. Remain kind and calm, especially in repair situations. Doing so will certainly help you build a rapport with your landlord or property manager.
  3. Ask for permission not forgiveness – before you change anything inside (or outside) the residence, get your landlord’s approval. Be respectful of the idea that your landlord might not share your taste or want his/her property permanently altered.
  4. Practice common courtesy – when you’re renting any property, but especially a duplex or apartment, it’s important to be courteous of those around you. Little things like keeping your noise level down and parking in your designated spot can go a long way.
  5. Keep things clean – treat your rental like you own it! Keeping your property clean both inside and outside will show your property manager or landlord that you are responsible, and you care about keeping the property in good condition.

 

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