Choose the right neighborhood for your Chicago home.In a big city like Chicago, every neighborhood and suburb has its own personality. Before you start house hunting, you need to think carefully about what you need in both a house and its surrounding area. This will help you narrow the possibilities and expedite the process.

First of all, consider the type of house you want. Are you on the market for a single-family home, a condo, or a townhouse? Do you want a yard? Have you budgeted for HOA fees? This should help you decide whether you are interested in a neighborhood in Chicago itself or if you’d be happier in one of the suburbs.

Next, start looking at the safety of the area. You can search online for these statistics. Calling the local police department is another good idea. They can tell you about crime trends and help you find the safest neighborhoods that meet your criteria.

Whether or not you have kids, you should look at the public schools in any neighborhood you’re considering. This is because good schools tend to go along with safe, stable neighborhoods, where property values are high.

Drive Around Potential Neighborhoods and Get a Feel for Them Before Buying

When you’ve narrowed down your choices, plan to visit your top picks several times at different times of the day. Try to be there at both morning and evening rush times. How long does it take to get to the main routes? Are you near a park, and do people park on the neighborhood streets? How close are you to the grocery store, bank, gas station, and other places you need to get to regularly? Is it easy to get to them from the area you’re considering?

Finally, what will your commute time be? Some people don’t mind spending a long time getting to and from work. Others find it completely draining. Public transit can help, so see if that’s a viable option.

If you need to talk to a Chicago-area expert, give Lauren McGinty a call! She’s got many years of experience and can help you choose the right neighborhood for your next home.