It can be tough to find the perfect place to live. Each neighbourhood has its pros and cons, and the definition of an ideal neighbourhood can change depending on your stage in life. Young families may want to live within walking distance of great schools, while single Millennials may be more interested in an area in proximity to work and play in the downtown core. We reached out to RE/MAX agents across Canada, for their best advice on what you should look for when evaluating a new neighbourhood.
What should you look for when evaluating a new neighbourhood?
When looking for a home, it’s important that you consider your top priorities in terms of location.
One RE/MAX agent put it best: “I always advise my clients to consider distance to work, desired schools and kids’ activities. You can change anything about a home, except its location.”
If a big yard is important, consider shopping an older neighbourhood, before high-density developments became the norm. If a newer home is important, you may have to live with the fact that the yard will likely be smaller with less privacy, due to the lack of mature trees.
Driving times to places you frequent – work, recreation, shopping and services – are also factors to consider before choosing a neighbourhood to buy and live in.
Your budget will impact on your decision as well. Several RE/MAX agents noted that they often remind their clients to consider resale value.
You may also want to consider air and water quality, street traffic, and even how much snow accumulates on average during the winter (and the municipality’s snow-clearing strategy!).
Explore the neighbourhood
Do your due diligence as a buyer and explore the neighbourhood before you buy, to gauge how “liveable” it is. Google is a great resource, but nothing beats first-hand experience. Visit the neighbourhood at various times of day and night, during rush hour, to get a sense of how busy (or quiet) it can be. Reach out to some local residents and ask them if what they like and dislike about their community. Check local crime rates. Finally, check municipal plans for the area to determine if there are any major changes planned, and take a look at recent values, to ensure they’re trending upward, and property taxes.
Work with an agent who understands your needs
It’s important that you are working with a real estate agent who understands what’s important to you. Your agent should be asking questions to understand your needs as a buyer, so they can help guide you through the process.
“I need to know what’s important to my clients, so I can help with the particular neighbourhood choices. The perfect neighbourhood is different for each client,” said a RE/MAX agent.
Although it’s important to think about your immediate needs, it’s also vital that you think about what your needs may be five or 10 years down the road.
If your child has one more year of elementary school before he/she graduates to junior high, the proximity of the middle school to your house is equally, if not more important, than the distance to the elementary school.
“I tell my clients to keep in mind that they will likely be in their new home and neighbourhood for at least 5 years. They should consider what their needs may be within those five years.”
Ready for the next step in the home-buying process? Contact us!
Courtesy of REMAX.ca