Searching for the right home should also include the right neighbourhood. How do you know what's right for you? What should you be looking for?
Here are some tips.
Check out the area during different times of day to gauge the amount of traffic. Is it a bus route? Is it a short cut to other streets? Depending on your preference, it's good to find out ahead of time what type of traffic flow you'll be dealing with.
Does the neighbourhood have sidewalks or not? Why is this important? A sidewalk throughout the area shows that it's an active area. People go for walks, or walk to a park. No sidewalk can mean a busy street.
Google map the area to discover what is nearby. How important is it to you to have certain amenities? If you have children or plan to have them soon, you should find out which schools are nearby and are they within walking distance? Also look for nearby parks and walking trails, daycares etc.
Is there a shopping center, corner store, or pub near your neighbourhood? How will the traffic and noise affect you?
Being too far from amenities will cost you more in driving. So there is much to consider here.
Again visit the area during different times of days as well during mid-week and weekends. What type of sounds do you notice? Highway sounds? Trains? Kids playing in a school yard? Dogs barking?
As for sights, are there any eyesore homes in the neighbourhood? Construction projects?
Be aware of any offensive smells as well. Being close to a city dump can deliver foul odours, as does stagnant streams and sewers.
Property taxes vary in different neighbourhoods. Find out what the current taxes are for your proposed neighbourhood.
Access to highway or trains if you commute to work.
Age groups of neighbours depending on your preference. Toys and strollers signify small children. Basketball and hockey nets usually mean teens.
Are you retired? You may feel more comfortable in a retirement community.
So when considering that Dream House, don't forget to find the Dream Neighbourhood first!
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