When you’re in the market for a new home, it helps to remember one of the real truths about buying real estate anywhere; you’re not just buying a home, you are also buying into a neighbourhood.
There is, in reality, no such thing as a perfect neighbourhood, especially as every potential home buyer has different needs and desires. There are, however, certain components that are common to all great neighbourhoods.
As you evaluate the various aspects of a prospective neighbourhood, you’ll need to match them to your daily needs to truly get the best fit for you. With that in mind, here are some important questions to ask yourself as your home hunt gets underway.
1. Does the Neighbourhood Match Your Lifestyle?
Is the neighborhood you are considering make a good match for your current lifestyle? Just as a quiet suburban neighborhood may not quite be the right fit for a young single professional, a family with children might not find a condo in a hip downtown neighbourhood to be the best choice for their lifestyle.
2. Do People Display Pride in Ownership?
Pride in ownership shows when the local residents maintain their homes and care about their neighbourhood and when it is easy to spot that is almost always a great sign. This is demonstrated in a number of different ways, from the appearance of the homes in the area from the outside to the number of community organizations to yes, rules and guidelines that govern the way certain aspects of the way life in a neighbourhood is lived (neighbourhood watch schemes etc.)
3. Do the Local Schools Have a Good Reputation?
For home buyers with children, great neighbourhood schools are usually right at the top the list of what makes a good neighbourhood fit for them. But even those without kids should take this aspect into consideration, as good schools make it more valuable and more sought after, keeping property values strong.
4. How are the Outdoor Amenities?
Being close to the outdoor recreational opportunities is another important consideration for many people. Being close (or at least within a reasonable drive) to places to walk, run, bike or work out can keep you in love with your home.
5. Is it Family-friendly?
Neighbourhoods where plenty of families live are another big draw for buyers with children. In these locales, there are far more opportunities for children to play, socialize, and make friends. And the parents can do the same, adding another plus.
6. Is it Close to Public Transportation?
Easy access to public transportation is a bonus in any neighbourhood and a helpful option for those leading almost any lifestyle. From a commuting millennial to a retiree who wishes to keep the car at home, public transit is a solid upgrade to any neighbourhood.
7. Is There Plenty to Do and See?
Is there a nearby town center or downtown with movies, great restaurants and maybe even some good nightclubs? Are there some good shopping opportunities in the area? Are they diverse, as in there are big supermarkets and niche shopping opportunities like farmer’s markets? These are all things that can help make a neighbourhood particularly desirable for some, and certainly things you should consider as you shop for that great new home.