What Families Need to Look for When Choosing a Neighborhood

What Families Need to Look for When Choosing a Neighborhood

Boston neighborhoods

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Boston is one of the hottest real estate markets in the country, and with good reason. Boston is a major metropolitan city that offers beautiful historic sites, gorgeous new luxury construction, waterfront views, and access to all that New England has to offer.
From world-class beaches to stunning mountain ski resorts like Stowe to breathtaking landscapes of Acadia National Park and the White Mountains, Boston has an amazing array of amenities. Boston is a city of neighborhoods, and each has its charm and attributes.
For example, living in Jamaica Plain affords residents easy access to the beautiful Jamaica Pond for sailing, kayaking, and enjoying the beautiful foliage. Jamaica Plain houses for sale tend to be tucked close together with neighbors, but they still feature small outdoor spaces, large wrap-around porches, and short walks to bars, restaurants, and cafes.
Other neighborhoods have a different feel. For example, the Seaport District is filled with high-end dining and hotels featuring local seafood and colorful nightlife, as well as luxury condominiums with waterfront views. Back Bay homes are typically in the gorgeous, historic brownstone style of the area and feature wrought iron balconies and views of the cobblestone streets and gardens.
Nearby Boston in Brookline, homes offer more space in more of a densely populated suburban neighborhood. Brookline features some of the country's best schools, as well as high-end restaurants and plenty of parks and outdoor space.
With so many opulent neighborhoods to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start when moving to the Boston area. This guide will help you focus on the most important criteria when choosing a home in a Boston neighborhood.

Determine your budget

Photo courtesy of Pexels
The most important decision when choosing a neighborhood is deciding on your budget and how much space you need. Many neighborhoods have a wide price range; however, the space that you get at a particular price point can vary significantly.  It’s important to choose a neighborhood that has homes in your budget for the space and amenities you desire.

Narrow down your necessities

Photo courtesy of Unsplash
When shopping for a home, it can be easy to come up with a long list of amenities and attributes you want for your new home. However, the Boston market is extremely competitive, and finding a home might mean compromising on some of your must-haves. Consider your wish list for your new home, and try to sort out what you’re looking for as far as must-haves and want-to-haves. Is having a bedroom for each of your children most important? Or do you want a large outdoor space for them to play? Do you need to be on a quiet street, or is having an updated kitchen more important for your family?
Getting clear on which features are necessary for your family will help in your neighborhood search process, as some neighborhoods are going to have more of the features you desire compared to others. For example, many homes in Brookline are large and spacious, whereas homes in Back Bay tend to be a bit cozier. Homes in Jamaica Plain and Roslindale tend to have outdoor spaces. Deciding which features are most important to you can help you narrow down your neighborhood search.

Plan for school and work

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
When choosing a neighborhood, it’s important to consider your commute time, both to work and to the children’s schools. Consider whether you will be commuting to work or teleworking and how important your commute time is to you.
Will you be able to take public transit from your home? Many neighborhoods in Boston are easily connected with public transit, such as trains or buses. Jamaica Plain, Newton, Fort Hill, and Back Bay are all readily connected with public transit. It’s also important to consider your children’s commute to school. Will they be taking a bus or public transportation, or will you be driving them to school? How convenient is the commute, and how well does it work with your own commuting schedule?
As you consider your commute, it’s also important to consider parking. Will you want off-street parking? Will you have one or more vehicles, or will your family mainly be walking or using public transit? These are important questions to answer for yourself when choosing a Boston neighborhood.

Leisure time

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Another important quality to consider when choosing a neighborhood for your family is what kind of leisure activities your family enjoys. Do you want easy access to parks and recreation? If so, living in Jamaica Plain near Jamaica Pond or in Newton near the Hammond Pond reservation might be a great choice.

Do you enjoy going out to plays, shows, or theater? If that’s the case, then you might enjoy living in Back Bay more, which has easy access to the theater district in Boston. Do you want to enjoy quiet time with your family on the weekends? The more suburban Roslindale might be an excellent choice.

Local amenities

Consider where the local amenities are in your new neighborhood as well. Do you want to be able to walk a few blocks to the grocery store when you need a missing ingredient? Do you want to be just next door to a local coffee shop? Would you prefer to walk to your yoga studio after work instead of driving? Consider which amenities are important to you, such as fitness facilities, after-school programs for children, bars, restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, or any other amenities that you might want. It’s important to consider your location in relation to the amenities you’ll be accessing most.

Finding the best neighborhood for you

Clearly, all of the Boston neighborhoods have great amenities and reasons to live there. If you need some help deciding which is best for your family, Prism Real Estate Group is one of the top Boston real estate teams. Prism Real Estate is run by Christine Li, who has over 20 years of real estate experience and plenty of knowledge of the New England market. Christine has ample experience as a buyer, seller, landlord, and vacation property owner, giving her the perspective needed to give her clients great advice. Working with her team, Christine always puts her clients first and is committed to helping them find their dream homes in the Boston area. You could be next!

*Header photo courtesy of Unsplash


It’s your vision. Let’s make it reality.