good neighbourhood
Photo: Jenn Evelyn-Ann (Unsplash).

Moving to a new city and starting a whole new life is always exciting, but it’s important to choose a good neighbourhood to live in. You won’t only be renting or buying a new house, but you’ll also be part of the neighbourhood and invested in it. 

Guest post – Jamie Moulton (Just Property)

Before moving to a new city, it’s crucial that you make sure the neighbourhood you’re about to move into has the best aspects for your needs, especially if you have children. Here are the 7 things to look for in a good neighbourhood that doesn’t only fit with your needs, but will be perfect for raising a family.

1. Amenities

The first thing to look for when you move to a new neighbourhood is your day-to-day requirements. By that, we mean things like supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, schools, shopping centres and public transport. These facilities make an area liveable for you and your family. If you have children, be sure that the area has kid-friendly amenities (playgrounds, swimming pools, etc). To guarantee you’re picking the right neighbourhood, look in more than one suburb to ensure you find the one that’s fully-equipped with what you need.

2. A safe environment

By safe, we’re talking low crime rates and no bars or clubs nearby, especially if you have little ones around. You’ll also want safe streets to walk in. To know for sure, take a walk through the suburb. What’s the general feeling you’re picking up? When you find a property you like, chat with the neighbours. They’ll tell you everything you need to know about the safety of the area. If the neighbours are families with kids, you’ll know the area is likely to be kid-friendly and safe.

3. Walkability

Are you the sort of person who loves ditching the car and enjoying an afternoon walk? You’ll want to make sure your prospective neighbourhood offers you that option. Does the area have paths that lead to cafes, restaurants or other nearby amenities? Look for parks that have walking paths where you can enjoy a walk or run in nature. Some parks will offer walking and biking trails to let you enjoy a day out with the family.

4. Nightlife

If you’re looking to live in a neighbourhood where all entertainment facilities are walking distance from you, or a short taxi-ride from home, then check to see if the area has theatres, bars or cinema complexes close by. Good entertainment facilities will make the neighbourhood more appealing and bring the area to life. This can be appealing to young people who are looking for an area that comes packed with entertainment hot spots.

5. Accessibility

A neighbourhood that has easy access in and out of it will be far more appealing than one in outlying areas. Even if you succeed in finding a suburb with everything you need, remember that you may still need to leave it for work or to run daily errands. Suburbs near the city will not be cheap, but if it’s important that you have everything nearby you’ll have to take a look at your budget and consider paying extra to rent there.

6. Schools 

Given the option, you probably wouldn’t want your kids to go to a school that’s an hour from home. If having a school close by for your growing family is a priority, then look for neighbourhoods with schools. It’s advisable, however, to look for schools in several suburbs before you get attached to a specific rental home and area. Does the school offer a good education for its students? How will your child get to school? Are there good public transport options in the area? Or could they walk to school? Would it be safe? How long will it take you drive?

7. Pay attention to any warning signs

Last, but not least, you need to pay attention to signs that indicate a specific neighbourhood is not suitable for you or your family. This could include:

  • Too many vacant rental properties or houses for sale.
  • Streets badly maintained or covered in rubbish.
  • School buildings appear to be in bad condition.
  • Empty storefronts – is this a sign that businesses don’t want to be there?

The above signs (and more) could be red flags that the neighbourhood you’re eyeing off might not be the perfect one for you.

Choosing a good neighbourhood is almost as critical as choosing a rental property. It needs to be safe with low crime rates, affordable and provide you with everything that you need.

Jamie Moulton
Senior Content Curator at

Jamie Moulton is a senior content curator at JustProperty.com, a leading real estate portal in the MENA region, headquartered in Dubai, UAE.