Searching For Your Next Home: Start with a Neighborhood that Fits Your Vibe

Neighborhoods have unique personalities. At HomeTraq, we refer to this as a vibe. To us, knowing the vibe of a neighborhood is critical to finding a home that best suits your needs.

“Vibe: A person's emotional state or the atmosphere of a place as communicated to and felt by others.”

5 Elements That Shape a Neighborhood’s Vibe

1. The Residents

Whether you’re introverted or extroverted, human beings are social creatures. Who we live near and around has an affect on us. 

It's important to know if you enjoy being around car enthusiasts. Do you love the sound of a supercharger whine? Maybe the shrieks and laughter of children fills you with joy. A neighborhood's residents are the single unit of measurement of a neighborhood vibe!

2. The Architecture 

The types of dwelling that a neighborhood has can certainly say a lot about the residents it attracts and what matters to them. Historical homes sturdy and full of personality and charm. Modern and streamlined designs that are elegant and efficient. 

3. The Activities

How does a neighborhood organize and does it have events? Is there a neighborhood watch? A local ice skating rink in the winter or a carnival in the summer? Maybe it has street fairs and a weekend every year when everyone has a yardsale? 

Perhaps they hold political rallies and town halls are always well attended. And maybe it’s just an unspoken, everyone does their own thing kind of vibe. Whatever it is, what a neighborhood does collectively is a big part of its vibe.

4. The Businesses

Restaurants, eateries, spas, yoga, art studios, pawn shops, 7-Eleven. Are there chain stores that are predictable and safe to find what you need or are there kitsch mom and pop shops offering unique variety? The types of businesses a neighborhood hosts is a component worth considering.

5. The Access

A dead end tucked away on a mountain road or the endless side streets of downtown. Maybe you like a lot of traffic bringing new faces and diversity to your neighborhood. And maybe you feel better knowing that only people coming down you street are you neighbors.

Ways to Research a Neighborhood’s Vibe

So you won’t be surprised when a neighbor decides to mount a unique yard display, it’s a good idea to do a bit of research on your potential new address. Here are some ways to do that:

Google Maps Street View

Checking out the area from above in Google Maps Street View may reveal nuisances not always apparent from the ground: railroad tracks behind a subdivision, a borrow pit loaded with heavy earthmovers behind that innocent-looking green space or a drainage ditch you hadn’t noticed before.

Don’t Just See a Home, Take a Walk

A good walk and leisurely drive through the area can reveal nearby amenities: bicycle paths, parks, restaurants, libraries and shops.

School District Evaluator

A school district evaluator site can help you judge local campuses. Even if you don’t have children or plan on having any soon, living in an excellent school district will yield higher home values.

HOA Fine Print and Bylaws

If you’re a pet lover, you’ll want to find out whether there are any Homeowner Association (HOA) restrictions on the size and number of pets per residence.

Visiting a Neighborhood at Different Times

Visiting a neighborhood at random times of the day or night and on the weekend — or better yet, a holiday — can disclose noise issues. And fun block parties.

Chat with the Folks that Live There

Talking to neighbors can give you a sense of the age and attitudes of neighbors. Who knew that well-appointed new development was a 55+ community? People who live in adjacent neighborhoods might give you even more of a lowdown about potential negatives than current residents.

Take Note of the Upkeep

Noting the condition of streets, sidewalks and city services can tip you off to how the neighborhood will wear in the future — and the strength of its tax base for ongoing improvements.

How do you know what your Neighborhood Vibe is?

It's simple! Just ask yourself some questions. Write down the answers and see if a specific type of neighborhood matches your personality. 

Oh yeah! You can also just take our quick fun quiz! 

Find Your Vibe at


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