Your Dream House Isn’t Complete Without the Perfect Neighbourhood

You can always return a dress if you don’t like it, but you can never return a home once you buy one. So you wouldn’t want to drop hundreds of thousands on a home only to realize that the neighbourhood wasn’t right for you. If you’re not sure what to look for in a perfect neighbourhood, here are the 8 things to consider.

  1. Current Lifestyle

What do you look for in an ideal neighbourhood? Is it the proximity to work? The low crime rate? Both are good things to consider, but you shouldn’t decide on a neighbourhood by looking at just the numbers. Even if a house matches all of your criteria, you may not find the surroundings suitable for your current lifestyle. If you’re single and ready to mingle, you may become bored in a family-friendly neighbourhood. If you have a growing family, you want to make sure your neighbourhood has a community park. If you own two active dogs, you might want to take them to a nearby dog-friendly park.

Take a good look at your current choices and preferences, meet with your potential neighbours to see if the neighbourhood offers everything you need for your lifestyle. And remember, these amenities could add additional expenses when buying a property.

  1. Good Schools

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If you have children or are planning to, then the quality of the local education must be an important factor when choosing a neighbourhood. A good school can be known for its superb academic program, involvement in the arts, or for its strong sports team. Whichever one you find essential, you want to make sure that your children attend a school with a good reputation. Proximity to a good public or private school is a definite plus for both children and parents. Once you decide on a neighbourhood, take a tour of the schools around the area and speak to the students’ parents to get more details and information.

If you don’t have or plan on having children, take a note of the fact that the presence of a good school could increase the value of your neighbourhood, which in turn will increase the value and attractiveness of your property.

  1. Crime Rate

“I want to live somewhere that has a lot of criminal activity” said no one ever. One of the first things to do when searching for a neighbourhood is to check the crime rate. This can easily be found by calling the local police or researching online. Everyone wants to live in a safe neighbourhood, so it’s best to see how the safety level of your future home compares to that of other neighbourhoods.

  1. Sounds, Smells, Sights

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Pay attention to the surroundings of your potential home. You might’ve read that your neighbourhood offers a variety of options for food and drinks, but it might also mean that the area has several bars down the street where college students get rowdy on the weekends. Or you might’ve read that your home is in close proximity to the train station, which would offer easy access to the public transportation. But did you stop to think about the noise from the trains moving along the tracks? Remember that every coin has two sides and choose wisely. There are many unpleasant noises to consider when choosing a neighbourhood, including air traffic, hospitals, and busy highways.

You may also want to look into your neighbours, as they might have guard dogs that are constantly barking or rambunctious children playing after school. Even if the neighbourhood is quiet, there may be smells that may be unbearable in the long run, whether it’s the foul sewage smell or the unpleasant exhaust fumes from cars. If you plan on walking at night or you are generally concerned about safety, you may also want to check if the streets are lit at night. Hence, it is best for every home buyer to visit a potential neighbourhood at different times of the day on different days of the week.

  1. Future Plans

So you walked around different neighbourhoods and you found one that you really like. Maybe it’s the wide streets or the lack of food establishments in the immediate area. But you shouldn’t let your guard down and sign the contract just yet. Check with the local planning office or the homeowners association regarding any future projects for the neighbourhood. It could merely be an expansion of some of the streets, or the city might be planning to build a community college in the area. The changes could appreciate the value of your property but you may not find the added noise tolerable.

  1. Empty Homes

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Any sensible person will pounce on real estate when they hear the phrase “buyer’s market”. Home values have dropped, which means homebuyers can lay their hands on a new home and investors can make money once the market recovers. Too many properties on the market, however, could be a bad sign. A fall in real estate prices results in a decrease in property taxes. Without any earnings, the city will limit the budget and reduce the amount of public services offered in the area.

So if you enjoy reading books at the library, relaxing in the park, or feeling safe in your neighbourhood, you may want to stay away from areas with several empty homes.

  1. Convenience

Are you a busy mom who makes a stop at the grocery store every other day? Or do you like workout at the gym five times a week? Depending on your lifestyle, you may need to have easy access to the supermarket, the pharmacy, the bank, the coin-laundry, or the gym. In order to save time and money, it’s important to consider your daily routine when choosing a neighbourhood. It may be best to take a drive around your neighbourhood to visit the various establishments in the area. Make sure that everything you need or want is available, because who wants to pay extra petrol money and spend 30 minutes to buy a carton of milk?

  1. Commute

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Nobody likes to wake up early and start their work day fighting through traffic, so it’s important to consider your commute to work when choosing a neighbourhood. Even if you live in the house of your dreams, your daily commute could shorten the time you spend in that house. The cost of petrol and freeway tolls may add strain to your tight budget. If you don’t have a car, make sure you have easy access to public transportation and while you’re at it, you may want to check if you need to make multiple transfers. Your everyday journeys shouldn’t be a hassle.

There are many factors to making a neighbourhood appealing to a homebuyer, so knowing how to compromise on which essentials you can and cannot live without will help you decide on choosing the perfect neighbourhood. And once you have decided, check out for a list of newly launched properties in the area of your choice! Don’t forget to follow our Facebook page for more updates and useful articles.