When buying a home, there are plenty of different things to consider. Not least of which is choosing the best neighbourhood. Below are 6 key things to consider when you're selecting your dream neighbourhood.
1. Age Appropriate? Certain neighbourhoods make sense for different stages in life. Also, it's reasonable to assume that you generally want to be around people in similar life stages, with similar goals and interests. It doesn't make sense for a retired couple, looking for a quiet sanctuary, to move to a brand new community with mainly starter homes and lots of young families and kids. While some neighbourhoods will certainly have a mixed demographic of people living in them, many will tend to appeal to specific people at a particular stage in life. When you drive by looking for parents with strollers and see nothing but grey-hairs with walkers? That might be a good sign that it's not quite the right fit.
2. School Zone. For families with kids, proximity to good schools can be a real deal breaker. Is it important to you that the kids are able to walk to school? Or are you comfortable driving them or letting them take the bus? Do you need a school that has before- and after-school care? How do you know if a community has good schools or not? If you've ever wanted to know how a particular school ranks, you may be interested in the Fraser Institute's online comparative school ranking tool. Using this tool is like having access to a "report card" for each school and gives you information about their overall academic performance. Investing some time up front to researching a neighbourhood's schools can be an excellent longterm investment in your child's future.
3. Safety First. Another aspect of a community's profile that tends to resonate strongly with home buyers is the relative safety or crime rate of a given area. The Edmonton Police Service have a great online tool that can help give some insight into whether or not a neighbourhood is suitable safety-wise. There's a Neighbourhood Crime Map that will give you a sense of the number and types of crimes that occur in a particular location.
4. Community Features. What kinds of things would you like to have available just beyond your backyard? A spraydeck? A community pool? A toboggan hill? Lawn bowling? When scoping a potential neighbourhood, it's good to make a list of all the added features it has and determine how many of them you will likely use.
5. Proximity to the necessities. It's 9:30 PM and you've just realized you are out of milk and tomorrow morning will be a complete disaster if little Mikey can't have his cereal. Is there a grocery store nearby? What about a gas station for those days when you waited one day too long to fill up? And how about distance to a medical facility? Some communities that lack proximity to services might make up for it in tranquility and ambience, but there may be some things for which easy access will be of the utmost importance.
6. What's Your Style? The person who loves being in the thick of the hustle and bustle with access to entertainment, restaurants, shopping and general excitement and energy is probably not going to live in the same place as the person whose idea of socializing is saying hi to his neighbour over the fence. Your community should be a reflection of the lifestyle you covet and provide access to the amenities that serve your lifestyle best.
Taking time to determine what you need from a neighbourhood will start your home search off on the right foot.
Aside from his many years of experience in real estate, Wally Fakhreddine is a Hall of Fame RE/MAX REALTOR® and in the top 5% of all Edmonton REALTORS®. Specializing in the Edmonton real estate market, he provides competent, professional and friendly service to all of his clients. Wally is eager to discuss Edmonton real estate market conditions, Edmonton homes for sale, Edmonton condos for sale, Edmonton duplexes, Edmonton town-houses new constructions, buyer brokerage or anything related to the Edmonton MLS. Contact Wally now at: 1.780.238.7384.
As a resident of Edmonton for over 30 years and expert Edmonton real estate agent, Wally is passionate about the city and will help both buyers and sellers with all the information or priorities they need to know about in order to make their home dreams a reality.