Choosing the Best Neighborhood

When you're trying to find the best places to live in the city, choosing a neighborhood is as important as choosing an apartment or home. A neighborhood needs to be safe, affordable and have access to everything you need. Not only its a major investment but neighborhood quality impacts almost every aspect of your life in years to come.

Let's look at some key factors you should consider to make sure you have found the right neighborhood when searching for your new home.

Safety: Research on the internet for crimes in your shortlisted neighborhood, google news covers almost all the suburbs of India. This should give you a good start before you hit the roads. Talk to friends or relatives who live in the area. Take some time off and drive during different times and days of the week to get a feel of traffic flow, look if homes have strong deterrents; 'Beware of Dogs' or very high fences etc.

Transportation: Consider the commuting time to work, look for public transportation options like metro or nearby bus stop, these days AC buses are a better bet than driving in the city. Don't fall to the trap of Airport landmark, most builders market houses '15 minutes' from the airport, think how often do you go to the airport.

Look and Feel: Take some time off and walk through the neighborhood at different times of the day to get a sense of its highs and lows. Look out for the crowd living in the area, businessmen or IT folks or… .How close are you to a store or restaurant.? Avoid moving near bars or pubs or open gutters which are common in most of the cities. You'd be inviting trouble if you opt for lake front or lake view homes, lakes in most cities have become dump yards.

Real Estate Agent: Use this checklist to speak to a real estate agent of the neighborhood.
  • Average rentals in the neighborhood and surroundings.
  • Average sales price for homes
  • Average household incomes
  • Average rate of appreciation of rent or home value
  • Employment opportunities
  • Future developments
  • Under construction properties
  • Watersupply
A good real estate agent will be able to provide this info.

Here are a few top rated neighborhoods in Bangalore;

  • Sarjapur Road / Bellandur / ORR - Agree there isn't water, but, this place has great accessibility to different restaurants, malls, multiplexes and IT hubs like Whitefield and Electronic city.
  • Indiranagar / Koramangala - Still one of the best but properties here are out of reach. It's a hub for the rich with average age group of 35+.
  • Vijaynagar / Jayanagar / BTM - More of a government hub with not much IT crowd. Congested roads and high rentals.
  • KR Puram / OLD Madras Road - Cheap rentals for good houses, not much development and it's more like an industrial area. I guess people don't prefer to live near National Highways to avoid sound pollution.

This doesn't mean that other suburbs are doing bad. It's just that they are saturated and people don't want to get into a rush hour mess every working day or it's far off from work. Again, neighborhood choice is one's personal choice based on work location or other factors.