There’s an old saying that ‘the three most important things in real estate are location, location, location. But what makes one community more desirable than another? Often, it’s the visible aspects of the neighbourhood such as pride of ownership in well-maintained houses, and clean, tree-lined streets. Sometimes it’s the intangibles, like a look or a feeling that one gets while driving down a particular street. When you’re house hunting, it’s important to remember that when you buy a home you’re also buying the neighbourhood.
Your home is probably the single largest investment you’ll ever make. So, it’s wise to buy in an area that is stable and has a good reputation. A community’s reputation is based on many factors, including close proximity to a thriving economic centre. Look for good schools and easy access to public facilities such as libraries, parks and recreation centres. Also consider commute times. How long will it take you to get to work? What is your time worth? Remember not to make that decision based on how long it takes to make the drive to view the house, unless you’re actually making the trip during rush hour. Are you the type of person who doesn’t mind an hour’s drive each way to work? Do you prefer to take public transit?
Before you purchase a home, it’s a good idea to check with the city or town’s planning and zoning departments for proposed developments in the area. If you’re looking for a quiet area away from the hustle and bustle, you’ll want to know if there’s a proposed shopping mall going in at the corner. Or could there be an office tower slated to appear in your prospective backyard?
The resale potential of the neighbourhood is important too. I can create a report for you, showing you the properties that listed and sold in the area, and discuss the potential for appreciation in property values.
Try to get a sense of the community before you move in. Make several trips to the area that you’re considering. Visit on different days of the week at different times of the day and night. Do you like what you see? Do you feel comfortable? Talk to residents in the area, as they are a wealth of knowledge about the area amenities and the community spirit. Read a few issues of the local newspaper to get up-to-date on current initiatives and developments. You might even want to visit the local library or community center to get an overview of what’s going on in the area.
You can rely on Scott and I to provide you with sound information too. Then, when it comes time to buy your first house, you’ll be sure to choose a community where you’ll feel right at home.