Moving doesn’t only mean changing houses, it also means introducing yourself and your family to a new neighbourhood. A good community can enhance your quality of life, provide essential amenities, and in general ensure that you feel safe and connected.

If you’re looking for a new home, here are some aspects to observe and assess to see how welcoming your potential future neighbours are, and if what matters most to you is at hands.

kid walking to school crossing bridge

Safety and security first – always.

Safety should always be a top priority when considering a new neighbourhood. Look for areas with ample street lighting and well-maintained roads, as these are some of the most basic indicators of a well-cared-for environment. Traffic calming measures such as speed bumps and pedestrian crossings also suggest a family-friendly area.

Check the national police website for crime statistics and community initiatives, too! And if you want, have a look to see if there are community initiatives, too. A neighbourhood with an active watch can indicate quite a proactive approach to security.

When visiting potential new areas, take note of the general upkeep. Overgrown gardens and unkempt public spaces can be red flags, while clean streets and tended parks usually indicate a safer, more cared-for and actively involved community.

What family amenities and services are offered and in proximity?

Families moving into new homes often benefit from modern planning that includes access to schools, parks, and other key amenities. Do take the time to check these yourself, though. Research local schools to ensure they meet your expectations in terms of quality and atmosphere.

Recreational facilities such as playgrounds, sports fields, and community centres offer invaluable spaces for children to play and socialise without having to plan in time and resources to get there first. Check for local healthcare services like GP surgeries and hospitals, too – which are obviously essential for your family’s health and wellbeing.

Do you have pets? Where might the nearest vet be? Nearby shops, including supermarkets and pharmacies, add additional convenience, reducing the need to travel long distances for daily necessities even further.

neighbours talking over a fence

Test the community vibe

The general atmosphere of a community can be a bit harder to gauge, especially in new developments. A good idea is to try and visit at different times to observe how active the community is. Are people out and about? Engaging with neighbours? Are they taking pride in their environment? These are all positive signs of a vibrant and open community.

Good transport links are essential, particularly if your new home is in a more suburban or rural location. Check for access to public transport that meets your family’s needs, including reliable bus or train services. If you rely on a car, consider traffic conditions and accessibility to main roads. Many new neighbourhoods are designed with walkability in mind. Look for safe pedestrian pathways and cycling lanes that connect key areas of the neighbourhood.

At the end of the day, it’s going to be a gut feeling, like with so many things. But in preparation of moving of choosing an area to move to, you can help with that feeling at least a little bit. Do you feel welcome, does it look inviting? Even if you can’t pinpoint it down to what it is – you’ll know. Simply give yourself some time to assess.