When people go looking for a home, they often don’t realize how they’re actually looking for a neighbourhood, a community. They’re looking for a place they can call their own that’s also part of something bigger than a single property. And while many home owners look at neighbourhoods in terms of cost alone, there are quite a few things to consider when looking at your next neighbourhood. Here’s a few tips for finding that perfect community for you and your family.
Step 1: Sketch Out a Neighbourhood Profile
If you don’t know what you want and need, it’s impossible to find what you’re looking for. This is just as true for finding a neighbourhood as it is for almost everything else in your life, so it pays to invest in some time in thinking about what you need from a neighbourhood. Are you planning on having children? Do you need good schools for those children? Is organic food a priority of yours and, if so, is there a nearby store that can accommodate those needs? All of these questions and many more need answering. Once you’ve sketched out what you want in a neighbourhood, write it all down in a checklist, which you’ll need for step two.
Step 2: Shop Around
After you have your checklist, you can start to look around at the neighbourhoods. If you’re moving within the same town, then you probably have some ideas already about where to go, or where you want to move. That can help you narrow your decision, but familiarity can also be a problem. It’s important to look outside where you were thinking, especially geographically, when looking for a new neighbourhood. There may be the perfect place, and you missed it because you simply didn’t even look. If you’re moving to a new city, then you need to research the ideal neighbourhoods that fit your checklist. As you look around, be sure to keep your checklist on-hand so you can reference it as you look around. Get a feel for distance especially, so you know if your new home is within walking or driving distance of everything you need on a regular basis.
Step 3: Go for a Drive
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, go to the neighbourhood and have a look around. Check out where the schools are, where the grocery stores are, and even where some of the local hotspots are. All of this will help you get a feel for not only the neighbourhood, but how you would live in the area.
Step 4: Start Looking for a Home
Once you’ve done all of the above, it’s time to start the even more complicated process of searching for and buying a house. But if you have the right neighbourhood, you’ll also know a lot more about your purchase. After all, buying a home is buying a piece of a neighbourhood to call your own.