Whether you’re completing a short-term job assignment or on the hunt for a permanent home, there are several reasons you might need temporary housing. Although your living arrangements may be short-lived, you don’t have to settle for a less-than-stellar neighborhood. Fortunately, a few tips and tricks can help when deciding where to move on a temporary basis.
Determine What You Need from a Neighborhood
When it comes to great neighborhoods, everyone has different wants and needs. Before you begin your search for temporary housing, consider the following questions:
- Do you prefer a busy or quiet neighborhood?
- Is proximity to shops and restaurants important?
- Do you need access to public transportation?
- Are parks and schools must-have features?
- Would you rather live in a new housing development or an older neighborhood?
The answers to these question help narrow down the possibilities when choosing where to live.
Know Your Temporary Housing Options
Although your move is temporary, the idea of an extended-stay hotel doesn’t always appeal to you. Here are a few other options for transitional housing with a homey, more comfortable vibe.
- A short-term rental: a furnished or unfurnished apartment or home available on a short-term basis, often with a higher monthly rental price
- A sublet: a furnished or unfurnished apartment or home with an existing lease that you take over for a specified period of time
- A vacation rental: a furnished apartment or home rented for varying durations of time, from a weekend to several months
Look for a Neighborhood with Curb Appeal
When homes are well maintained, it shows that the people who live in them take pride in their investments. Regular home maintenance also helps boost property values for all members of the neighborhood. While touring different areas of town, look for outward signs of regular upkeep like sound roofs, nice paint jobs, new gutters, quality windows, and attractive landscaping.
Research Neighborhood Schools
If you have children, education may be an important priority when deciding where to move. To get information about schools in a certain neighborhood, turn to GreatSchools.org, a nonprofit organization offering a general rating for each school as well as detailed information about student progress, discipline, attendance, ethnicity, and more. As part of your research, make sure to schedule a visit to any schools you may be considering.
Check Crime Statistics
Safety is an important issue for anyone looking for a new home. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to identify safe neighborhoods in your city. Websites like SpotCrime.com and CrimeMapping.com offer crime incident data for specific neighborhoods as long as your law enforcement agency subscribes to the service.
Local police departments are also a good source of information for finding safe neighborhoods, and driving around various neighborhoods can help you determine safety levels. When touring a neighborhood, keep an eye out for graffiti, broken windows, and other signs of vandalism, and look for crime deterrents like high fences, alarm system signs, and security bars on windows.
Although you may like the looks of a neighborhood during the daytime, Virginia realtor Alex Bracke recommends driving around the area at night. If the neighborhood is well-lit, friendly-looking, and quiet after dark, chances are it’s a winner.
Rely on a Livability Score
Whether you’re making a temporary or a permanent move, one website helps determine the best places to live in the country at no cost to you. By entering a state, city, zip code, neighborhood, or address, AreaVibes calculates a livability score from one to 100 based on seven factors. These include amenities, cost of living, crime rate, education, employment, housing, and weather, and the higher the score, the more livable the area. With AreaVibes, you can also find livability scores for nearby areas and compare your livability score to the average state and national scores.
Choosing a place to live can be a challenge, especially when you’re looking for temporary housing. If you’re struggling with deciding where to move temporarily, make sure to learn all you can about your favorite neighborhoods.
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