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When you are in the market to buy a new home it helps to remember one of the golden rules of real estate: You’re not just buying a home — you are also buying into and becoming a part of a neighbourhood
As anyone who’s moved a few times knows, not all neighbourhoods are created equal. There is no such thing as the perfect one, because not all areas are going to be truly a perfect fit for everyone and their unique needs.
Although a cookie-cutter ideal neighborhood isn’t a reality, there are components common to ALL great neighborhoods. As you evaluate the best aspects of a prospective neighborhood, you’ll want to match them to your needs at this point in your life.
A truly great neighborhood is one in sync with your current lifestyle. Homebuyers tend to gravitate to areas with similar demographics. Just as a fantastic suburban neighbourhood may not be right for a young single professional, a family with three small children would likely be miserable living in a small condo in a hip downtown area.
Pride in ownership
All great neighborhoods have this in common. Pride in ownership is obvious when the residents maintain their homes and care about their local area. Neighbours participate to connect and create local groups that bring the residents together for the betterment of the area.
Low crime rate
Low crime rates give an area a sense of ease and calm. As safety and security are everyone’s concern, crime statistics are a quick way to tell if a neighborhood is improving or not. You can usually spot a transitional and improving neighborhood by the improvement or decline in its crime rates.
For homeowners with children, good schools top their list of what makes a great neighbourhood.
But, not only are great schools important for families with children, they also make the surrounding neighborhoods more valuable and more sought after, keeping property values strong.
Being close to the outdoor adventures you love can sweeten the appeal of an area. Being close (or within a reasonable drive) to places to jog, run or bike is desirable for many people and if you have kids and/or fur kids, then playgrounds and dog parks are going to be important too.
Access to medical care
This is important for all residents, but especially for seniors and retirees looking to find that perfect place to retire and for families with young children. Being close enough to get to a hospital or doctor’s office quickly is key for many people in various stages of their lives.
Close to public transportation
Easy access to public transportation is a fantastic plus for a residential area and an amenity for almost any lifestyle. From a commuting millennial to a retiree who wants to keep the car at home, public transit is a solid upgrade to any neighborhood.
Restaurants and entertainment
If you want to be part of the hustle and bustle (and don’t want to cook dinner every night), having great restaurants, shopping, and markets in proximity is a must! Is there a nearby town center or downtown with theaters, bars, and nightlife? This could be the one thing that makes your neighbourhood come alive.
This is a priority for anyone who is young and single, but everyone appreciates a neighbourhood where the hot spots are within walking distance, or a short Uber ride away.
Being able to leave the car keys at home and hit the pavement to walk to markets, shopping, restaurants, parks, and all the other amenities your neighborhood has to offer can alleviate a lot of road rage … and make you fall even more in love with your locale!