Here are 4 tips for picking the right neighborhood as suggested by As Dr. Seuss says “Oh, the places you will go”…and the places you will want to avoid. Choosing the right neighborhood is as important as picking the right house. Your neighborhood will define many aspects of your day-to-day life, so you should research it carefully to be sure it meets your needs. Most people choose the neighborhood before they pick their new home!

A perfect home often has more to do with your comfort than with perfection. Following this train of thought will allow you to determine the best options for you. Think of it like trying on new shoes: one size does not fit all.

Establish Your Housing Priorities

Not all neighborhoods have the same kind of layout. Because of this, it is important that you decide on a style of  home, whether it’s a condo, townhome or big house or small, has a yard or a porch, etc. After that, consider your budget, taking into account what you can and cannot live without. Are you big on golf? Swimming? Make sure your neighborhood has access to the right facilities.  Perhaps you want to live on a lake and use your canoe each weekend!

This may be the most important of the tips for picking the right neighborhood.  If you are downsizing into a condo, it certainly makes no sense to be looking at neighborhoods with two acre zoning.

School Districts

Whether you have children or not, neighborhoods with good schools are always a better bet as you choose your new home. It is estimated that homebuyers will pay up to $50 more per square foot for properties located in good school districts. Of course, if kids are in the mix, then take a look at what’s available. Real estate agents are not allowed to divulge direct information on specific schools, but they can point you in the general direction to do your own research.  Some sites we like are, US News and World Report and  This is important among the tips for picking the right neighborhood because the right school district will affect the long term investment value of your home.


The third of the tips for finding the right neighborhood is to look at proximity to transportation.  Your new property will be your home base, but don’t forget about your commute to work. If you’re good with driving, the suburbs can work for you. If you’re a major train-hopper, then being close to a city center or somewhere with access to public transportation will be in your best interest. Homes tend to be more expensive when located close to travel hubs, but you will most likely save in terms of time, convenience and money itself in the long run.  Homes close to the metro or with easy access to the Beltway or the interstate also will have higher value on resale.

Last of the Tips for Picking the Right Neighborhood

The last of the tips for picking the right neighborhood is to “date the neighborhoods.”  When you’ve narrowed down your options, spend some time in the prospective neighborhoods at different hours of the day to make a more informed decision. Check out the dog park (if you have a dog) or the jogging paths.  Visit local restaurants and the grocery store. Can you walk to the types of shops you like?  Is a house of worship important to you? How close is it? You can also speak to current residents while you’re visiting to help you weigh out your options. There’s a good chance you will need to compromise and prioritize, but the idea is to pick a neighborhood akin to your ideal one.

Call the Lise Howe Group to Find Your New Home

Call the Lise Howe Group and let us help you find your next home. Whether you are moving across the country and relocating to Bethesda or Chevy Chase, or if you are simply trying to find a perfect place to call home, we can help you. With a combined 35 years of real estate experience, we are very familiar with the entire DC metro area. Whether you dream of an estate in Potomac or a condo in Dupont, we can help! Just give us a call at 240-401-5577 or email us at

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