How to Choose a New Neighbourhood
When looking to purchase a new home, it is important to remember that you are investing in the chosen new neighbourhood too. A good neighbourhood is essential for maintaining property values while contributing to your sense of well-being.
Here are some considerations to make when choosing a new neighbourhood.
Your Future Plans
Choosing a neighborhood with only your current life circumstances in mind can be a mistake. To find a great community, give thought to the suitability of the neighborhood for you and your family in the next 5 to 7 years. If you have children or plan to, is the neighborhood child-friendly? Are there parks? Are there recreation centers? Are the streets quiet with room for outdoor play? Are restaurants and other amenities walkable?
The Reputation of Nearby Schools
As catchment areas (or the community a child resides within) is often used to determine school placement, it is crucial to ensure the nearby schools are reputable. Also, those with children might want to consider whether transitioning from elementary, middle and high schools within the same neighborhood will be possible. The ranking of local schools should be a concern for those without children too, as school status might be a consideration for a future home buyer.
The Length of Any Commute
Consider the commute time, whether traveling by car or using another form of transit, required to get to and from work, and other recurring activities, before committing to any new neighborhood. The proximity to friends and family is also worth considering. Long commute times may dilute the enjoyment of living in any community.
The Opinions of the Existing Neighbours
Existing residents of any community are a gateway into what life is really like in any given neighbourhood. Asking neighbors for their opinions can be particularly revealing. Approach a neighbor and let them know that you are considering their neighborhood. Ask them to share anything they feel you might like to know.
A single visit to a property may make it difficult to discern unwanted noise. When touring any potential new neighborhoods, keep watch for the proximity to nightlife (like nightclubs), industrial areas, airports, trains, stadiums, or highways. As noise is disruptive and makes getting a good night’s sleep challenging, it is a good idea to visit any potential new neighborhood at many different times of the day to get a real sense of its usual state.
Essential to investigate are the neighbourhood crime rates and any crime prevention programs in place. To source crime statistics, call or visit the local police station. Additionally, research whether a neighbourhood association exists, and if so, whether they have a crime prevention program in place.
A great neighborhood will accommodate your plans, have great schools, is a reasonable commute, is highly regarded by existing neighbors, is quiet in the evening, and is safe. Taking the time to source a great neighborhood will bolster your investment while creating a place you will be happy to call home.
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