Finding the right place to live is a very personal process. There is a lot of information out there signaling to you what is a great neighborhood. You hear about the hottest neighborhoods (Andersonville was ranked 7th in the country by Redfin), the tightest inventory of homes (Cicero has lowest inventory right now), the most rapid increase in prices. But do these news blurbs help in you finding the perfect neighborhood?
My opinion is no. What is “cool”, “hip”, or “hot” to one person is not to another. Logan Square is one of the “hottest” neighborhoods in the city. But at my age, the thought of tons of coffee shops filled with hipsters and edgy millennials is not appealing. Brings to mind this quote from Seinfeld:
“Not that there is anything wrong with that”
Now a days, I like to walk the dog in the neighborhood and not be run over by traffic, bikes, or people texting on their phone. I still do like to go out, but I’m not looking for what is new and hip. I like good food that is reasonably priced (since now I can cook better than most restaurants, and I can control the quality of the ingredients). I really prefer authentic ethnic restaurants, since I don’t know how to cook those dishes. I really enjoy laid-back bars with great beer selections, or I like going directly to the brewery. The great thing about breweries is that I find the clientele to always be friendly and varied, at least in age.
So I know what is important to me, do you know what is important to you?
You may think that renting is not a long-term commitment. You don’t think there any issue with getting it wrong. I say think about the last time you packed up all your things moved it to a new place, then unpacked when you got there. Then you need to live there for at least a year. Isn’t a year of your life a big deal? Isn’t moving a whole lot of work?
The best way to find the right neighborhood is to visit and spend some time. Make sure you feel at home and there are no conflicts with your needs. Some of you have asked friends about the best place to live. Well, your friends are biased. They want you to live near them because it is convenient for them. It also minimizes their bad choices (remember that misery loves company). Go there yourself and talk to people on the street, in the park, in the bars, in the restaurants. They will give you a more honest perspective than your friends. Try to find people that are like you and talk to them. Also, I have a saying “Live where you play, not where you work”. I’m not sure the source of the saying, but I have followed it much of my life and I stand by it. It is much easier to commute and extra 20 minutes to work everyday then to be far from people that you are most compatible with. Routine transportation can actually be therapeutic. And with mobile phones, tablets, and hot spots, we rarely waste the commute time.
I relate finding the right neighborhood to finding that vacation spot that you always want to return to. You all know that place. Where everything seems easier and more comfortable. That is the same feeling you should experience when you find that right place to live.
At Homeology, our goal is not to replace your assessment of where the right place is for you, but to help you get in the right ballpark. We give you information that allows you to make a decision faster. Then we link you up with real estate experts in the locations you are considering. This is a wining combination – community matching, neighborhood specialists, and your own sense of being at home.