What Is a Neighborhood?

When buying a home, neighborhood plays a key role. You might find a fantastic house but if the neighborhood doesn’t meet your needs or have the right feel, that house will never become a home. The concept is one we all know but there are many factors that make up a neighborhood.

What is a neighborhood?


First and foremost, a neighborhood is a community. On average, 7,000 people make up a borough and those people create a sense of culture and character that define the very heart of the neighborhood.

Physical Boundaries

Neighborhoods are delineated by physical or infrastructural boundaries. These include streets or highways, natural configurations including mountains and waterways, parks, zip codes, school districts or actual buildings.


Within many neighborhoods, architecture is a central aspect. Often, boroughs have a uniformity of housing styles—classic ranches as found in Menlo Park’s Belle Haven borough, Eichlers, Victorians or mixed use-that lends a distinct impression to the area.


Just as the people who live in a neighborhood contribute to its sense of community, their demographics also play a part. Socio-economic and other indicators are part of the puzzle. Whatever the demographics, great neighbors come from all walks of life.

Life Style & Amenities

Things such as safety, attractiveness, schools, open space and restaurants all add to the ‘personality’ of a neighborhood. Most boroughs have a mixture of uses and these attract people based on their requirements. Those with young children often focus on safety and great schools while singles and young couples might find a lively social atmosphere more appealing.


There are two questions we often ask people we’ve just met: “What do you do?” and “Where do you live?” These tend to offer a perspective into who we are, lending themselves in large part to creating a framework for others to understand us. Our neighborhood influences our identity, whether it be young, hip and single, family oriented or any number of others.

Though each of the above make a neighborhood what it is, those factors all ebb and flow over time. The demographics, boundaries, amenities and identity of every borough morphs and changes. What a neighborhood was once long ago may not hold true today. But one thing will endure, the fact that neighborhood plays a major part in where potential home buyers choose to live.