04 Oct Dream home? Check out the neighbourhood
One aspect we often forget consider when hunting for the “dream home” is the neighbourhood. So, before you begin looking at houses, narrow in on your chosen location. Someone once said that the houses are like spouses and that the neighbourhood is like the extended family. In other words, you may find the home of your dreams, but if the neighbourhood is not good, you will never be happy. In fact, you will most likely be unhappy and depressed.
What are somethings to consider?
- If you have children or are planning to have children anytime soon, you want to research the school system in that particular neighbourhood. Even if you do not have children, living in an area with a much sought-after school system raises your property value. If you have children, you may also want to consider parks and community centres.
- Do your homework about the different types of homes. Do you want a single-family home, an apartment, a semi-detached home, a townhouse?
- Find out what options you have if you are not going to be driving all the time. Are you willing to commute? Are you near a public transit system route?
- Are you looking for a historic neighbourhood or a new development? Although historic neighbourhood can be enticing due to the character they have, in most cases they also come with a need to do a lot of renovations. The new development comes with modern features, but, in most cases, is far from the downtown core.
- Would you like to be within walking distance of shops, restaurants and bars? And, last but not least, make a list of what you do not want to see in a neighbourhood. Talk to people who live in the area. Get their impression. Look for warning signs – vandalism or abandoned houses.
In summary, look for the lifestyle, the amenities and conveniences, the commute time, the schools, and the market conditions and affordability.