Checking out the Neighbourhood
7 Things to Look for in a New Neighbourhood
Whether seeking solace, activity, schools, churches, or green space, every homebuyer
looks for a different combination of attributes in a new community. Choosing a
neighbourhood that suits your needs and wants is one of the most important decisions
you'll make in the home-buying process; your choice of environment will affect the way
you experience your new home. This is a very personal decision, influenced by countless
unique factors colouring your own lives, but you should always keep the following in
- If you're considering buying a home in a community that is unfamiliar to you, get
to know its lay-out, offerings, and ambiance. Take some time to walk or drive
through the neighbourhood, both during the day and at night, familiarizing
yourself with the sights, sounds, and smells.
- What amenities does the neighbourhood have to offer? Is public transportation
readily accessible? Are there schools, churches, parks, or grocery stores within
reach? Consider visiting schools in the area if you have children.
- What is the nature of the job market in the area? Keep in mind that if area
employers are producing more jobs, you can expect property values to increase,
especially if the jobs offered fall within a higher salary bracket.
- Speak with the neighbours. Ask questions. They can offer you a wealth of
information, from an inside perspective.
- How will you be affected by a new commute to work? Drive the route between
the new neighbourhood and your office during the appropriate times to gauge the
volume of traffic you could expect to encounter, and the amount of time you'd
need to put aside for daily travel.
- Contact local land-use and zoning officials to determine existing development
plans or potential for development in the area. A strong agenda for
neighbourhood planning and local zoning will increase the value and draw of a
neighbourhood. Keep in mind that any large, tree-covered area may be a target
for future development in popular communities.
- Determine whether financial resources have been put in place to support
infrastructure projects in the area. These construction projects might include
building, replacing, or improving anything from schools to roads, and are usually
part of a city or town's long-term plan. While disruptive, construction could also
be a benefit to your experience of a community, influencing the long-term value
of the area.