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How To Find The Right Neighbourhood For You

Tyson Brandow

Tyson is the technological heart of the Brandow Group...

Tyson is the technological heart of the Brandow Group...

Jan 7 7 minutes read

It's not easy to choose the perfect neighbourhood for you or your family. Let's face it, your neighbourhood is just as important as your house. If you are not happy with your neighbourhood it will eventually lead to you not being satisfied with your home. Do your research to determine what a neighbourhood has to offer you. The greatest areas for families with children is not always the best place for a single person or empty nesters. This article will explain the things that you should be looking at in a neighbourhood during the buying process. 

Location

Location is everything. Imagine living in an amazing area, but working over 80 kilometers away. This may not leave you with much time to enjoy everything that your neighbourhood has to offer, considering you will be spending so much of your time commuting to and from work. Even though there may be a great neighbourhood available 80 kilometers away from work, that does not make it wise for you to consider that home unless you are able to work from home. Commuting can be overwhelming and could create a dissatisfaction over time.

Location plays a huge factor when it comes to the community and its amenities. If you live in a rural area, you will most likely not find any gyms, retail stores, or indoor activities that are more common in urban centres . However, if you enjoy the secluded feel of a rural area, this may work for you. Drive around the surrounding area to get a feel for the lifestyle. 

Pro Tip: Drive or Walk around the area's you are researching.  Make sure to take note of distances and time that it takes to get to some of the places you may be going on a regular basis.

Interview The Locals

Chatting with the locals in an area is a great way to see if you would enjoy it there. Residents will know the area best and can make you aware of the perks and issues. Most people love talking about their neighbourhood and where they live. 

How can you get involved without physically going to every business or community center?  

Facebook. 

Join The local Facebook Community group to get a vibe of the neighbourhood.  You can even ask questions to get real feedback. Asking questions like:

1) I am moving to the area and was curious to hear what some of you love about living here?
2) I am curious to hear what some of the changes you are hoping for in the near future?
3) What is something  that you would only know if you lived here?

Pro Tip: You can also google: How is Living in (Neighborhood).  This will reveal many other forums or blogs that give local insight.  

Schools

If you have kids in your home then schools may be the most important factor to your neighbourhood. Some people are looking for a school nearby for their kids to walk to school and some are seeking schools for children with special needs. The best advice we could give is to decide on the schools you enjoy first, then begin looking for the neighbourhoods around the school. 

PRO TIP: There are many online resources such as www.compareschoolrankings.org where you can look up the schools in your area and their rating. Once you have decided on a school that you believe will be best for your family, visit the school.

Property Values

The value of a property plays a huge role when choosing a neighbourhood. If your desired area has high value homes, this generally means higher taxes. If some of the homes have declining property values, it can directly impact the value of the entire neighbourhood. An area that once was a great-looking place to live can slowly turn into a rundown location in obvious need of some tender loving care.  

In terms of choosing a home in any neighbourhood we subscribe to the old rule of thumb not to select the most expensive home in the neighbourhood.  

Pro Tip: Don't go for the most expensive home in the neighbourhood.  If the home value is above the average, it may appreciate more slowly or take longer to sell than those closer in value to the average.

Property Taxes

Taxes will vary by neighbourhood, so you should definitely consider them when buying a home. As stated above, areas that are appreciating in value are also going to have larger taxes. Many cities have specific times of the year where they reassess home values to ensure the local government is getting the proper amount of tax revenue to provide the city with services. Purchasing at the top of your budget can turn the excitement of purchasing a home into a nightmare when other expenses begin to roll in.

It is important to make sure you consider all the expenses that come with owning a home. We can always help you with any questions you have, so do not be scared to give us a call. 

Pro Tip:  Don't purchase a home at the top of your price range if you are buying in a neighbourhood with increasing values because the taxes you pay will go up as well.

Safety

Many consider safety to be a top priority in the search for a new neighbourhood, but not everyone can afford to live in a gated community.  Not everyone wants to live in a that type of community, either. You can, however,  look at local police  reports to see what, if any, mischief goes on in a specific area. You can even use online resources like crime maps to get an idea of the crime rate in certain areas.

*Realtors cannot discuss criminal activity with clients

Pro Tip: Ring Has a Downloadable App called neighbors that shows you the local incidents in an given area.

Bottom Line

The neighbourhood that you live in can have a greater impact on your satisfaction than the home itself. The right house in the wrong area can leave you unhappy in the long-run. Research online, speak with locals, and drive around the surrounding area to determine the if the neighbourhood is right for you and your family.

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