When looking for a new home you should always consider the neighbourhood it’s located in; after all you’re going to be living there a long time. The thing to remember is that your home does not exist in isolation, and neither do you. What style of home do you like? What needs must be satisfied for you to be happy? Where do you see yourself in the future? These and countless other questions need to be asked before settling on the right home and area for you.
Your present situation will help to determine the home you finally settle on. If you’re single, part of a young couple, a growing family or a retiree, your housing needs will be entirely different. With your present lifestyle in mind (and with a vision of where you want to be in the future also handy) it’s a good idea to simply drive around your community to see where you want to live. Even if you’ve lived in the area your entire life it’s likely you’ll discover something new about your city just by driving around.
If a family home is on your checklist, then look for an area where there are plenty of children. You can gauge the vitality of a neighbourhood by the activity on the street. If there are schools and shopping in the area, if there are children playing in parks or riding their bicycles, this suggests a developed, safe and family-friendly area. Local municipal governments often compile information on their neighbourhoods, such as crime rates, transportation routes, school catchments areas and other data.
So, what should you do? One way to learn about the different community areas includes regularly attending REALTOR® open houses in the neighbourhoods that appeal. Finding the right neighbourhood for you is essentially a self-directed course of study – but the right decisions will make the process of home ownership easier and infinitely more satisfying.