Are you trying to find your family’s perfect neighbourhood for the next 10 years? Shopping for a property can be a daunting process, choosing a neighbourhood can be even harder! Most of the time, families base their choice of location on familiarity, meaning that they choose a neighbourhood based on where they were raised. If you grew up in the east end, you tend to shop for a home in the east end, right? Well what if your budget does not permit, or if you need to relocate for work… Maybe you and your partner are looking for a change or a new opportunity. This article will explore the five key elements that you should be looking for in your next neighborhood!
1. Schooling System
Whether you are anglophone or francophone, before settling into your new neighbourhood, you should consider checking out their schooling system. Getting accustomed to the number of English and French schools, the size of the schools, their programs and activities will allow you to decide if you think it is a good location to raise your family. Most times, you also need to consider this because you cannot live more than a certain distance from that school to be permitted to have your children attend (More of an inner city issue). Lastly you should always verify if there is a feeder school nearby as well. Your children may not be attending kindergarten for another 1-2 years, but once elementary school is done, no one wants to drive 12km in the morning to drop their kids off at highschool .
2. Services & Amenities
The most obvious of our 5 key elements is the services and amenities that are offered in your neighbourhood. This ranges from big box stores and local shops to sporting activities and amusement for the family. At Groupe Baronello we always say that when shopping for a home, you should always consider what you will need today and in five years. Shopping for immediate needs and future needs is very important and although right now you may need a bank, a grocery store and a SAQ, in 5 years it might look a little more like a daycare, a Wal-Mart and an Ice cream parlour . On a more serious note, once you find a neighbourhood that seems interesting, start searching for the nearest mall, postal office, SAQ, Bank etc. etc. to make sure that you will have everything you need within a reasonable distance. You should also consider your hobbies and activities. How many restaurants are found in the area, or coffee shops? Maybe you are a bowling enthusiast and want an alley nearby… Make sure to guarantee a certain level of happiness throughout the years.
Although this seems like an easy element, it can be quite tricky! Within the city limits… Finding bus stops, routes that lead to the metro or train stations is easy! But once you are going more rural, public transportation for yourself and your family definitely becomes a factor that you will need to deal with. It is important to consider what type of public transportation is in place at the moment, and what the municipality plans on bringing in over the next decade or two. Although this is important for actual transportation, it is also a great tell tale of future value estimates. The more public transportation is promised/comes in, the higher the value of a neighbourhood tends to rise.
4. Proximity To Your Inner Circle
Something often overlooked is how close you are to immediate family and friends. Most of the time, purchasing a home is based on two things; Price and location to our work place. This is because we are all restricted by budget and need to be close to our workplace for practicality on a daily basis. The part most often forgotten is that if you are all alone in your new neighbourhood, family and friends may not visit that often… More importantly, If you ever need a helping hand from a brother, a parent or a friend, for babysitting, installing Christmas decorations, finding that helping hand may become increasingly more difficult the further out you go. Our advice is to make sure you are always located within a reasonable distance to friends and family and if your budget does not permit… Maybe buying a smaller home, or a transitional home (condo/townhouse) is a better start for you.
5. Employment Opportunities
Already found your dream job? Unfortunately life is not always that easy. A great thing to look at when moving into a new neighbourhood or searching for your family’s next long term stay is the employment opportunities located within a certain distance. As mentioned above, when located within the greater city area, finding employment opportunities may be easier as you have multiple transportation options, numerous different industries, but commuting 1hr to the downtown office isn’t what everyone is looking for for the next 5-10 years. When moving a little more rural or suburban it is important to know which industries and how many are located close by, do they fit your job interest and what type of salaries are they currently offering? Being prepared never hurts anyone!
Although these elements seem like easy concepts, as a local realtor we often see people make decisions based only on their basic needs (workplace and budget) We would like to see our clients make more educated and long term purchasers so that their investments have more time to mature, develop and see them make a healthier profit in the long run!
If you are starting your search for a home, don’t be shy! Get in touch and help us, help you!