Finding The Right Neighborhood

Laura Insley's picture

The holiday season is such a wonderful time. Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, it’s the perfect time of year to make plans with your friends and family. Coincidentally, it’s also the best time to do some undercover neighborhood research if you’re thinking about relocating! In the days following Thanksgiving, you’ll find households swapping out their yellows and oranges for reds, greens, and blues. The scarecrows will come down and the lights will go up.  Some families make it a tradition to drive around the neighborhoods looking at all of the extravagant light displays and lawn ornaments. If you are one of them, then you’re already a scouting pro! Perusing neighborhoods during the holidays is a great way to learn about your potential neighbors. Here are a few tips to help you read the signs!

Do Not Disturb

If a peaceful and serene lifestyle is a must, seek out a neighborhood that doesn’t make a big show of the holidays. Streets that dress down during the season are more inclined to be more reserved the rest of year. These potential neighbors tend to be a little older, so you probably won’t see too many little ones running around making a whole lot of noise. Residents are more likely to keep to themselves, so you don’t run the risk of having to deal with nosy neighbors. All in all, if a street is pretty dark during the holidays, it’s a safe bet that the community is a quiet one.

Party In Progress

Are you a social butterfly who needs to live in an active community? If so, then keep an eye out for the bright and bold.  Areas that are heavy on the decorations are usually full of festive residents looking for any reason to go all out! Some neighbors will even get together and choose a theme each year. One year it might be “Island Theme” or “Around The World.” In these neighborhoods, you’re likely to find tightknit groups that value friends and community. That said, you might be hard pressed to find a ton of kids on these streets. People who have this kind of time on their hands aren’t busy toting children here, there, and everywhere.

Kids At Play

If you have kids or are planning to start a family, look out for neighborhoods that are only mildly decorated. Why is this you ask? As big as a parent’s plans might be for decorating (i.e. putting up 20 feet inflatable snowmen, lining the walkway with candy canes, etc.), life is hectic enough with work, club soccer practices, and gift shopping. The moment any free time presents itself, a hot cup of tea and a favorite holiday classic sounds more appealing than climbing a ladder out in the cold. And of course, every store run ends in a head-smack for forgetting to pick up the extension cords needed to power up those giant snowflakes. But hey, at least they got the wreath up!

Finding the right home can be tough, especially when you’re exploring new territory. This is why the holiday season is the best time to do your research. At any other time of year, you might be able to see the beautiful homes, or kids playing at a nearby park, but it’s difficult to get a sense of the neighborhood. Only during the holidays can you see the personalities of your potential neighbors through the ways they ornament their homes. There’s still plenty of spirit left out there to see! Happy Holidays, and Happy Hunting!

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