The Search for the Perfect Home Starts with Location

Mass transit, highway construction and other infrastructure are key considerations when planning your purchase

 

Where you choose to settle down will affect the quality of your life while living there, as well as your home's resale potential down the road. And, while you can renovate or even rebuild a house to change its features, location is one thing you can't change, so choose wisely.

When deciding on where to live, think about your wants and needs, now and in the future. Walk through the neighbourhoods you're considering and see what you can do without getting in the car. Are there schools and parks nearby? what about public transit? Where is the nearest grocery store, bank and shopping hub?

If you're  considering moving a little outside your area of choice, you could well get more home for your buck. But don't forget to factor in the extra commuting time and costs to get to work and visit family and friends. Perhaps you will need a second vehicle to get around. The suburbs are sweet, but if you're an urbanite at heart, you may be willing to sacrifice some square footage to stay in the area you know and love.

Numerous studies throughout North America and elsewhere show that proximity to mass transit and highways has the most significant impact on property values, since it improves residents' accessibility to a city's central business distric an other areas with employment opportunities.

The greatest benefit, according to Cutting Edge Research Inc., a Vancouver-based real estate consultancy that examines housing trends across the country, is for properties located within 500 metres of stations along new transit lines. Vaule enhancements can be 10 to 20 per cent higher for homes within this distance than those outside of it.

" Distance is now measured in minutes, not kilometres." Say Don Campbell, president of Cutting Edge, summarizing a principle that home buyers anywhere in Canada can follow: as people increasingly factor commuting times into their buying decisions, proximity to transportation is a top determining factor for both convenience and resale value.

While you're out there shopping for your home or condo, take a look around and see how close you are to the nearest highway, subway or light rail transit. Then follow the tracks to those communities - and your next home.

THE GREATEST BENEFIT IS FOR PROPERTIES LOCATED WITHIN 500 METRES OF STATIONS ALONG NEW TRANSIT LINES. VALUE ENHANCEMENTS CAN BE 10 TO 20 PER CENT HIGHER FOR HOMES WITHIN THIS DISTANCE THAN THOSE OUTSIDE OF IT.

 

KEY POINTS TO PONDER

- Do you want to live in the city, a town or in the country?

- Where do you work, and how easy will it be to get there?

- What are the commuting cost to work, family and friends, services you regularly use?

- If you have or plan to have children, where will they go to school and how will they will get there?

- Do you want safe walking areas, recreational facilities or shopping nearby?

- How close do you want to be family and friends?

 

12 QUESITONS to ASK BEFORE YOU BUY

Consider the following checklist of key questions, from Cutting Edge Research Inc., for analyzing the potential of an area. The more " Yes" answers you get, the better location:

- Is the area's average income increasing faster than the provincial average?

- Is the area's population growing faster than the provincial average?

- Is the area creating jobs faster than the provincial average?

- Does the area have more than one major employer?

- Will the area benefit from an economic or real estate ripple effect?

- Has the political leadership created an economic growth atmosphere?

- Is the Economic Development Office progressive and helpful?

- Is the area's infrastructure being built to handle the expected growth?

- Are there any major transportation improvement in the works?

- Is the area attractive to Baby Boomers' lifestyle?

- Is there a short-term problem occurring that is likely to disappear in the future?

- Is there a short-team problem occurring that is likely to disappear in the future?

- Is there a noted increase in labour and materials cost in the area?

 

From: Resale Home and Condo Guide

 

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Kathleen Xie

Kathleen Xie

Broker
CENTURY 21 Leading Edge Realty Inc., Brokerage*
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