Searching for the perfect home should start with searching for the perfect neighbourhood. This can be daunting as there are many variables to consider. As overwhelming as it may seem it is very important to love the neighbourhood as much as you love the property. I want to help you make this process easier by bringing to light what I have personally had to consider for all my home purchases.
You should start by creating a list of what is important to you and any other person that is living in the home. Rate the list of Neighbourhood must-haves in order of highest priority to least, as sometimes you won't find all of them in one neighbourhood.
What you should consider (you will most likely have a few of your own):
- Neighbours ! Neighbours ! This is very important and one of the hardest to actually observe - Are the neighbours friendly, is it an older or younger neighbourhood, are there any children on the street, do your neighbours hangout with each other.
- Conditions of the homes on the street- If the other homes run down and show distress this can lower the value of your property in the future if you decide to sell.
- Access to Hwy's, Public Transit, Go and Rail services if you work far from home or need to commute often.
- Proximity to work
- Proximity to railway or being over a flight path (if you want a quiet neighbourhood this is important to look for)
- Access to Hospitals or Public health services - especially if you have any health conditions or are Elderly
- Conditions of the roads immediately surrounding your homes- if the conditions are bad this could mean road work will be needed in the near future which could cause rd closures, noise, ect.
- Proximity to Religious places of worship- could be both negative and positive (some people don't like the increased traffic caused during times of worship).
Parents or Guardians of children Specific Considerations:
- School District rating
- Daycare or Montessori School availability
- Community Services offered in the neighbourhood - Libraries, Pools, Parks
- Proximity to parents, relatives or in-laws - if they will be aiding in watching the children
The best 2 ways to find out if any of these considerations may be a problem are to:
1. Make your way to the neighbourhood at different times of the day to see if you are okay with the noise level, street traffic, does it feel safe at night. You can also try to interact with any neighbours you see in passing to try and gage the street or neighbourhood. This seems invasive but is a small discomfort, at most, that can truly impact your purchase.
2. Search the neighbourhood statistics online, you can find out a lot about any neighbourhood on the web, use it. You can find out 90% of my list above on www.statcan.gc.ca/census from languages spoken, to the average cost to live in the neighbourhood each neighbourhood profile is highly detailed.
If you pair visiting the neighbourhood(s) in question various times and research online with a clear list of what is important to in a neighbourhood your less likely to have any buyers remorse!