When buying a property, choosing your neighbourhood is a very important part of finding the home of your dreams. Indeed, we not only choose a house, we also choose a neighbourhood.
To make an informed decision, here are 8 criteria to add to your list to choose your future neighbourhood.
- Distance from the workplace
- Proximity to services and attractions
- The mortgage loan
- Costs related to the purchase and maintenance of the property
- Your lifestyle
- Neighbourhood life
- Potential development of the neighbourhood
- Projection into the future
Ease of travel
Since the start of the pandemic, we have greatly reduced our travels, but we must not neglect accessibility to work, schools and other services from home.
To define your criteria, make a list of your daily, weekly or occasional travels and determine what maximum distance you deem reasonable. This list should include essential and fun travels to make sure you have easy access to everything you need.
Getting away from work can be beneficial in finding a more affordable home in a quieter neighbourhood to suit your tastes. However, it is crucial to take road traffic into consideration!
Would you like to be near elementary and high schools? Do you want to be able to walk to the grocery store or the pharmacy? Do you go to the pet store frequently for your pets? Do you use public transportation? Ask yourself the right questions to add the services you want to your list of criteria for your future neighbourhood.
Likewise, don't neglect the attractions that interest you. Easy access to a park, restaurants, museum or other attractions that appeal to you should be considered in your criteria to contribute to your quality of life.
By taking the time to define your financial criteria, you will be able to choose a comfortable neighbourhood that will meet your needs without breaking the bank.
In this sense, make sure you have a good understanding of your financial capabilities. Then, you will have to list the elements and costs to take into account in order to make any decision.
One of the main criteria for choosing your neighbourhood is without a doubt the maximum price you are willing to pay for the property. Before you start your research, apply for mortgage pre-approval to find out what is the maximum amount you can borrow for your mortgage.
You will then be able to select neighbourhoods whose houses correspond to your price range.
Beyond the mortgage loan, there are other important costs to consider in your criteria for your future neighbourhood. For example, the welcome tax and property taxes (or municipal taxes) vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. Depending on the distance from your current place of residence, moving may be more expensive. You should also consider the costs associated with maintaining the property.
To feel right at home, it is important that you feel comfortable in the neighbourhood where this property is located.
We come back to basics: What are you looking for? A family suburb to raise your children? A gourmet sector to try a ton of restaurants? A quiet neighbourhood for your quiet lifestyle?
The ideal situation is to find a neighbourhood with a similar pace of life to yours in order to find your account.
Once you have established your criteria for everyday life, take a walk around the neighbourhood at different times of the day to give you an idea of the atmosphere and the area in general.
This is the best way to confirm that this neighbourhood is for you and meets what you are looking for. You will also see where the services are located or what the traffic looks like for example.
On the long term
Establishing criteria for your future neighbourhood must include the long term. Take the time to establish how long you want to stay in this new home and what you are looking for in the years to come.
One criterion that is not always thought of is the evaluation of potential developments in the neighbourhood. Find out about neighbourhood development projects. Is it a booming neighbourhood? Are there any plans to demolish some areas to build condo towers in the next few years? Will your beautiful view be obstructed by a building being built soon?
Whether you plan to stay in your future home for 5 or 30 years, plan to determine if this neighbourhood will still appeal to you then. For example, if you are planning on having children, you will think of a neighbourhood that will work for them, with other families, parks, schools, etc. On the other hand, if you like tranquility, consider a quiet area where development plans are limited.
In summary, to determine your criteria for choosing your future neighbourhood, ask yourself the right questions and write down the answers in order to find out more or refine your research. You may not be able to meet all of your needs, but having a concrete idea of what you want will get you closer to it.