Is This Neighbourhood Right For Me?
When buying a home, there are some key factors to consider before you jump on the internet or into your car to begin your research. Begin the process by considering the following criteria:
(1) Your budget
Knowing what you can afford is critical and you should never waiver from this amount. Determining the right budget will also help you to eliminate neighbourhoods that may be out of your price range right now.
(2) Your list of non-negotiables
Make a list of the features that are really important to you and never compromise. When Renée and I were looking for a new home, one of my "must-have's" was a swimming pool. The home I grew up in had a pool and I spent countless hours hanging out there with my friends. Cooking and family dinners are important to Renée so one of her core desires was an eat-in kitchen with lots of counter and storage space.
(3) Your housing requirements
What type of home do you really want? How many bedrooms do you need? Is a home office on the main floor a must or is a rec room in the basement more important? Maybe you would like a home with a basement apartment (or coach house above the garage) so that you can generate some income.
(4) Your lifestyle needs
How close do you want to be to your work, family and friends? Perhaps a neighbourhood with a high 'walk score' really appeals to you so that you are just minutes away from cafes, restaurants, libraries and parks. How important is it to have convenient access to highways, day care, schools, restaurants, public transportation, etc.?
So what type of neighbourhood appeals to you?
A new-build where you can start from scratch or an older neighbourhood with mature trees and established gardens?
Quiet streets or a busier, active area where you can walk instead of drive?
Close to parks, conservation, walking trails or a skateboarding park?
Near big box stores or local boutiques and Farmer's market?
The best way to make sure you’re going to like your new neighbourhood is to spend time there. Be there on a Saturday morning to see what’s happening. Shop in area stores.
Visit nearby parks and ride the local bus. It's a good idea to spend some time walking through the neighbourhood during the day and evening to get to see its highs and lows.
If you would like information on home sale prices in specific neighbourhoods, let us know. We would be happy to share this with you! In the meantime, Happy neighbourhood hunting!