What Families Need to Look for When Choosing a Neighborhood

Live Tahoe Team

Moving to a better neighborhood is a major, often stressful, endeavor — especially if you haven’t found the right place for you and your family yet. If you’ve set your heart on South Lake Tahoe real estate but don’t know how to choose the right neighborhood, we’ve got you covered. Our guide unpacks six essential aspects to consider when picking a place to live, including the precise location and its proximity to other areas relevant to your family’s lifestyle.

Evaluate the location

First things first — evaluate the location. If you prefer an active lifestyle with plenty of outdoor recreational activity, be sure to pick a neighborhood that offers the best of nature right at your doorstep, including nearby lakes, hiking and biking trails, parks, and other points of interest. You should also consider how close you want to live to downtown areas and other main social hubs. If you’d rather live in a quiet neighborhood, you wouldn’t want to settle in an area that’s known for hosting tourists or rowdy nightlife.

Also, assess the street lighting. Is it too dark at night, or is the lighting sufficient? What about the streets and sidewalks? Are they clean? Is the pavement cracked or smooth? Are lawns landscaped? Are there trash bins on the street past the collection hour?

Commute to work

To evaluate the location, consider how far your home would be from your workplace. If you work from home, this isn’t an issue, but for people who need to commute, it’s incredibly important. A short commute is preferable and saves you time and energy. Don’t be afraid to ask locals about commuting to work. They can give you a better idea of what traffic is like at certain hours and how inclement weather affects commute times.

School districts

If you have kids or are planning to have them, the school district is another important factor to consider. Families want the best school district for their children, but evaluating a district comes with its own set of criteria. Here are things to look for when researching the local school districts:

  • Test scores – research the district’s overall test scores and data, including graduation rates and standardized test results. Most of this information is available online through the district’s website, accessible to parents who want to know how the district is performing compared to others.

  • Advanced programming – does the district offer Advanced Placement (AP) classes or other higher-level courses? If your child performs well and scores high on the final exams, these courses can be used as college credit upon enrollment.

  • Extracurricular activities – if your child is invested in their hobbies and interested in improving their skills, see what the school has to offer. These activities include theater, the school newspaper, choir, band, and more.

  • Sports – check the athletic programs. Sometimes schools don’t offer the sport your child is interested in, or maybe the program is too small and underfunded. Be sure to check what sports programs the school districts offer.

  • PTO – parents invested in their children’s education and growth should ask about the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). PTOs are a great way for parents and school faculty to come together and discuss the future of the students and the steps both parents and teachers can take to help students improve and succeed.

Nearby shops and amenities

Evaluate the neighborhood’s proximity to grocery stores, pharmacies, and other amenities. Are they close? Within walking distance, or just a short drive? Even if the stores aren’t close to your home, they might be on your way to and from work or school. You also want to make sure you like the stores and their selections.

Amenities also include department stores, malls, boutiques, spas, bookstores, and everything else you enjoy on a frequent basis. Remember — you want your neighborhood to feel like home, and this includes everything it has to offer, not just the home itself.

Pet-friendly parks

For the paw parents in search of a new home, you’ll want to research the local pet-friendly parks. How far are these parks? Are they popular and safe for your pets? Are people good about cleaning up after their dogs? You want only the best for your four-legged friend, so pet-friendly parks that aren’t too far from your home are another aspect to consider.

Restaurants and attractions

Restaurants and activities in the community are additional things to keep in mind. Look up the local restaurants. If you have a preference for Italian food or authentic French cuisine, see if there are any restaurants nearby offering that kind of food. Ask the locals about their favorites and which restaurants visitors prefer. Above all, make sure your neighborhood provides the type of food you enjoy.

The same goes for attractions and things to do. As previously mentioned, outdoor enthusiasts should keep an eye out for hiking and biking trails, boating, fishing, and other recreational activities that showcase Lake Tahoe’s natural beauty. If you’re more of a nightlife person, check out the local clubs, bars, and music scenes.

Additional tips

A great way to start searching for the right neighborhood, such as Cave Rock, is by making a list of your preferences, with priority in descending order: must-haves, highly desired, preferable, and can live without. It also wouldn’t hurt to take note of any deal-breakers you absolutely do not want in your neighborhood.

Moving to Lake Tahoe? Work with the Live Tahoe Real Estate team

For further guidance on finding the right Lake Tahoe neighborhood for you, connect with Chris and Brooke Hernandez. Specializing in South Lake Tahoe, Stateline, and Zephyr Cove real estate, along with several other luxurious neighborhoods, this team understands the Lake Tahoe lifestyle better than any other and is committed to finding the best neighborhood for you and your family. Contact them today!


Renowned for their unparalleled experience in Tahoe, Glenbrook, and Incline Village real estate, paired with unrivaled local insight and an unwavering work ethic, the duo consistently delivers the ultimate client experience. Whether it's a lakefront property in Tahoe, a cozy residence in Glenbrook, or a second home in the heart of Incline Village, Team Hernandez approaches each venture with unmatched enthusiasm, accessibility, and transparency.

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