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Finding the right neighbourhood for your family’s needs

Location, location, location! That adage has stood the test of time and where you buy your home can be as important as how big it is, what it looks like and how much it costs.

Create a checklist It’s a good idea to write down everything you can think of that you need and want for your new neighbourhood. Obviously your budget will play a large role in determining where you end up buying. For example, your money will buy a lot more house in the country than it will in the city. But other things like the style of home you want, desired features and amenities will also: factor in. Here are some of the questions you will need to ask yourself to make your search easier

What type of home are you looking for? If you want a larger home, you may need to look at the suburbs as opposed to the city. If you want a big property with room to move around, you may need to consider a rural community. If you prefer the urban life-style, perhaps a downtown condominium is more to your taste.

Where should your home be located? Do you need to be close to your workplace or are you willing to commute?

What is your main mode of transportation? Do you need easy access to public transportation or would you like to be able to walk to the corner store?

What are the other considerations in making a choice? Do you need to be close to a major hospital, school or place of worship?

What activities are you involved in? Do you want the quieter life-style of a rural setting or do you prefer the action of a larger city?

This exercise will help you zero in on the neighbourhoods you might like to live in and eliminate the ones that don’t meet your criteria. 

Once you’ve completed your checklist, you can begin visiting possible neighbourhoods that make the cut. 

Just be sure to always keep affordability in mind so you don’t get carried away and overextend yourself financially.

When you find the neighbourhood you think is right, spend some time there to get a “feel” for it. 

Be sure to visit at different times to see what traffic is like and how quiet or noisy it is at times. 

Check out the properties to see how well (or not so well) kept they are. Usually when the majority of homes are tidy and kept up it’s a good sign that there is a sense of pride and community among the neighbours.

If you still like it there after your investigation, it’s time to have your realtor show you available properties.  

 – The Ontario Real Estate Association

Posted: Jul 31, 2013

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