What to look for in a neighbourhood
Of course, the perfect house – one that ticks all of our boxes and fulfills all of our needs – is usually the goal of house hunting. But, finding the perfect neighbourhood for you is also incredibly important. Sure, you might consider the local schools if you are a parent, or proximity to work. However, how often do you really think about the personality of the neighbourhood you are considering moving into? Here are some things to watch for:
Check out the community league
An active community league shows that you would be moving into a neighbourhood that cares about where they live. Checking out an event and meeting some potential neighbours is a great way to assess the vibe of the area, and to talk to people about what they like and don’t like about living there.
A healthy ratio of owner-occupied to rental properties
There is absolutely nothing wrong with either owning or renting. However, an area with more homes that are lived in by the owners than those that are rented, will usually mean that your neighbours will care about their property. This in turn can affect your own property value.
Unless you work ridiculous hours and only need a place to store your clothes, you will want to consider how close your house is to amenities. If you love jogging, a place where you can easily access the ravine or the river valley is ideal. Love to eat out or go to pubs? Then you’ll want to have some good ones that are nearby. And, if you love to cook or entertain, make sure there is a grocery store close by for the, “Oh no! I forgot the milk!” emergencies.
When you find a house you love, consider what it will be like to live there. If you are viewing the home on a Sunday, think about what it will sound like during rush hour. If you are close to arterial roads, you’ll want to make sure there are plenty of mature trees. Is there a train station close by that will wake you up every morning? Are you too close to the neighbourhood pub? Sure, these might seem like the concerns of a boring, old person! But, when you are losing sleep – or maybe even your sanity – you’ll definitely care about noise.
Parking and Accessibility
If you are someone who loves to entertain, or who has a multi-car family, you’ll want to consider how easy it is for people to park by your house. If you take public transit, then accessibility to your favourite routes will also be key. You might even want to take a moment to consider how hard it will be to get from your house to the highway on the Friday before a long weekend at 3pm!
There is no perfect neighbourhood. Some people love to be in the center of the excitement, while others want to be able to count the passing cars on one hand. But, the environment that surrounds your potential new home will be critical to how much you enjoy living there. It doesn’t have to suit everybody, but it does have to suit you.