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How Your Neighborhood Affects Your Life

By Julia Hong, from

When you’re thinking of moving, there are a lot of things you have on your checklist that would make a perfect home. Moving can be an exciting, life changing time but choosing the right neighborhood can have a powerful effect on your life after you’ve settled in.  Each area is its own microcosm and has its own set of unique social elements that will influence your daily activities more than you realize. It’s worth investigating  how much of your personal well-being will be compromised in exchange for the home with the right price tag.

We at Navut are something of neighborhood experts. Not only will the Navut Neighborhood Finder match you with the perfect neighborhood for you in a major city, but we’re also here to tell you exactly why you should pay special attention to the area you’re going to be living in, and not just the property itself.

Well before you use Moving Waldo to change your address, you should know about the impact a neighborhood plays on one’s life and well-being. Read on and discover how three major aspects of a neighborhood can seriously change the way you think and act, so you know exactly what to be conscious of when looking into a new neighborhood.

Your Travel Time To Work

One of the major factors people take into consideration when they move is their daily commute. How will it change? Will it be longer or shorter? These are question that need a solution when deciding if a larger living space and cheaper rent have a higher priority over traveling time. An unknown factor is present when we drive or take public transit; you’re at the mercy of outside elements beyond your control. People with long commutes also sleep less and are more exhausted versus the people who don’t have to spend so much time commuting. While some don’t mind long commutes, it plays such a significant role in the lives of many Canadians, that according to Environics-Oxford’s 2013 survey, “it is often a deciding factor for half of Canadians in choosing one job over another”. Hence, why the new wave of workers entering the workforce have been leaving the suburban districts in favor of the urban core.

Access To Fresh Food

family in a food market

There are more things to consider than just the distance from the house to work and amenities. We’re talking about eating habits and actively living a healthy lifestyle. According to the Food Research and Action Center, low income neighborhoods have a shortage of fully stocked grocery stores and farmer’s markets. Residents of such neighborhoods are being limited in their food choices; fresh fruits, vegetables, grains and low-fat items are in very narrow supply.  Transportation to a wider stocked grocery store sometimes isn’t an option because of how far away it is, or families simply cannot afford the fresh produce. This is may not apply to you specifically, but is one example of how a family’s neighborhood space can truly impact how they live and eat. Consider how far away your next neighborhood is from a healthy food source, and know that will affect your eating habits.

Physical Activities & The Social Environment

Daily physical exercise seems like something we take for granted. It’s a given that we can do our walks without fear of physical or emotional endangerment. Unfortunately, low-income neighborhoods don’t have many open spaces, and if there are, they may not be the most attractive option for children or anyone to hang out in. Crime, vandalism, and disrepair often plague these areas, thus inhibiting physically activity from being enacted.

The way you view your neighborhood and it’s surroundings can alter how you interact with your environment too. Neighborhoods that have poor housing, little to no libraries, unsafe public spaces, and poverty can lead to depression and negatively impact your personal relationships. It also affects how you observe your neighbors and promotes isolation within groups. Of course, all these elements influence people at different levels and everyone copes with stress differently. Given the aforementioned facts, however, a neighborhood can unknowingly sway a person’s thoughts and actions at a subconscious level.

Choosing a neighborhood is more than just how much your home will cost or how much your rent will be per month. You should take into consideration all the outside factors that can affect your well-being: commute, access to a variety of foods, and public spaces. For better or for worse, these are things to keep in mind when you’re moving. You want to be able to enjoy your home and take advantage of its surrounding neighborhood. To make sure you never experience get stuck in a neighborhood that isn’t the right fit, use Navut’s Neighborhood Finder to find the community-space that’s perfect for you!