Feeling comfortable in a new neighbourhood is as important as feeling happy in your new home: the local cafes, shops, restaurants and green spaces are where you are likely to be spending a lot of your free time, and you want to feel like leaving the house and running into your neighbours is a positive experience, not a stressful one.
When you've found your perfect home, make sure that the neighbourhood suits you as well by considering both practical and personal criteria, advises Karim Goudiaby, CEO of flat sharing website Easyroommate.
The practical aspects include commuting (costs and transport links) as well as council tax and amenities costs and considerations like how easy it is to get home from a night out once the tube has shut.
On a personal level, your neighbourhood should match your tastes and what you feel comfortable with. Think about whether you prefer a quiet area to come home to or if you're looking for a buzzing environment (are you after a village-y or big city atmosphere?) Also, how important is green space - do you need to have access to playgrounds and parks easily?
Often, becoming a first-time homeowner also means leaving behind living with flatmates and friends, in exchange for living solo, which offers many perks but not as much socialising or as many distractions as living with others.
If you're living on your own, neighbours become even more important to rely on for borrowing the present-day version of the ubiquitous cup of sugar or for something more substantial, like socialising.
"Regardless of how long one has lived in the same city, a new neighbourhood can sometimes be a little daunting, leaving behind your habits and with them everyone who was part of your daily life in this community - be it the lady who makes awesome coffee at your favourite coffee shop, the shortcut you take to get to the gym quicker, or the dry-cleaner to avoid," says Goudiaby.
Click through our slideshow below, with tips from Goudiaby, on fitting into a new neighbourhood and getting to know your new surroundings.
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