Learning about a new neighbourhood, it’s ups and downs and various quirks takes time, but we’ve come up with some speedy ways to get to know your new local fast.
Take a mini holiday
Before picking a new town or neighbourhood to move to, it’s important to visit the area at different times to see how it transforms throughout the day. The easiest way to do this? Make a holiday of it! Even if your new neighbourhood of choice is only 20 minutes away, book yourself into an AirBNB and spend your time playing ‘tourist’. Not only will you uncover a potential great new local cafe, you’ll also build a better sense of the neighbourhood’s personality during morning rush, peak hour and overnight. Hospitals close by, for instance, can mean listening to ambulance sirens at all hours, which is something you definitely want to know well in advance.
Call the council
If you’re looking for peace and tranquillity, you don’t want to be moving in next door to a massive development that has plans to begin in six months time. Early morning noise, public transport routes and even sidewalks can be affected by local development. By having a chat with your council, you can see what kind of plans they have for the area and whether or not this is going to impact in the street you purchase your house in.
Catch the trains and buses to the area
While you might have a car, there will come a time that either you, your spouse or your kids will find themselves at the whims of public transport. Catching public transport to and from your new area will not only give you an insight into commute times and accessibility of the area (important if you have kids who go to school in another suburb), it also allows you to notice things you wouldn’t otherwise be aware of behind the wheel of a car. Plus, knowing the bus routes will come in handy next time your car gets serviced.
Talk to the locals
This one might seem obvious but you’d be surprised how few people actually do it. Seeking out local opinions and advice can help you avoid sketchy dead ends and help uncover local secrets in the area that you wouldn’t otherwise be privy to. Try to get a variety of opinions to, from the barista at the local cafe through to an older person who has been living in the area their entire life. You might even find you make a new friend or two in the process!
Grab the local paper
Think print media is dying? Think again. Local newspapers are well loved by their communities and are a great source of local information, from council news to upcoming local events and even profiles of locals doing unique or new things, you can learn a lot about your new neighbourhood from the people on the ground, uncovering interesting stories every day to share with the community. After all, if there wasn’t something worth reading inside, these papers would’ve died years ago!
It takes time to really get to know a suburb, but by hitting the ground running early, you give yourself the best chance to settle into your new neighbourhood faster than someone can say: “Are you new around here?