Finding your way home
When you're buying a home, the location is just as
important as the home itself. It impacts your quality of life and the
resale value of your home. Most realtors agree that the first step in
home-hunting should be narrowing your search to a specific neighbourhood.
First, look at your lifestyle and future plans.
Will you need schools or public transit nearby? What about green spaces
or recreational facilities? What's the maximum daily commute you're
willing to make? Think about your family and friends - do you want to
live close to them?
Once you've determined your needs, your realtor
can source information about different neighbourhoods, pricing trends
and community information using RealtyLink.ca, the Real Estate Board's
comprehensive listings and information source.
Spend time researching neighbourhoods that
interest you. Talk to the residents and merchants. Go for a walk in the
local park. Have coffee in the cafés and try out one or two
restaurants. Read the community newspaper to get an idea of community
activities, issues and concerns.
Also, consider these issues:
Zoning and community planning.
Find out what plans are in store for your neighbourhood - perhaps there
are some new developments, infrastructure or zoning changes. You can get
zoning by-laws and a copy of the community or neighbourhood plan from
the local city hall.
Safety & noise.
Visit the community at different times of the day and night to determine
safety and noise levels in the area. will you feel comfortable walking
at night? Will the noise keep you awake? Check with the local police
department for statistics on break-ins and other crimes.
by the local schools and ask about class sizes, programs, activities and
parental involvement. If schools are crowded, find out if there are
plans for expansion. Even if you don't have children, the quality of the
local schools affects the value of your home.
With your realtor's assistance and your own
research efforts, you're sure to end up in a neighbourhood that's right