When it comes to real estate, location is key. You might find the most amazing dwelling, but the surrounding neighbourhood can have a significant impact on your level of enjoyment. That’s why it’s just as important to scope out the actual area in addition to actual properties before you settle on the perfect place to call home.
Here are 7 traits that point to an awesome neighbourhood.
1. Good Walkability Score
While you can always take a vehicle or a bus to get to where you have to go, having access to amenities that are within walking distance can’t be beat. Imagine being able to stroll over to grab a coffee in the morning, head over to pick up a few groceries, walk over to the park to enjoy Mother Nature, then make your way back home, all without having to depend on a car or public transit. A great neighbourhood is one that has everyday amenities within walking distance from home.
Consider how important it is for you to have such amenities within walking distance. If you don’t have a vehicle, this might be a very important component that should be on your list of demands when searching for a home.
2. Social Gathering Spots
Great neighbourhoods are only as good as the people that live there, which is why social interaction is a vital factor to consider in the best communities. These spots provide the opportunity for neighbours to interact and get to know each other in public spaces, which can easily be created by the municipality with walkable sidewalks, patio dining areas, benches on streets, and other social areas where people can easily interact with one another.
Of course, no one wants to live in an area that’s unsafe and riddled with criminal activity on a regular basis. You want to be free to walk the streets in your neighbourhood without having to fear those around you. This is especially true if you’ve got kids, and want them to enjoy playing outside without worrying about who’s lurking.
The good new is that you can easily find out the crime rates and stats in a particular neighbourhood by paying a quick visit to the local police station, which will gladly provide you with the information you seek. Or else, your real estate agent should be able to provide such information for you as well.
4. Great Schools
If you have children, being in a good school district is essential. After all, you want to ensure that the place you drop them off at every day is safe, nurturing, and will help them get a decent education. But while parents will certainly want to look at the types of schools in a neighbourhood, even those without children should care about this characteristic. Why? Because good schools are one of the many traits that boost the property values in a particular neighbourhood, which is always good for resale purposes.
5. Close to Transportation Routes and Public Transit
Being close to major highways (though not backing onto them) and public transit is extremely convenient and can make your commute into work a lot easier and faster. In fact, properties that are within walking distance to public transit stops - be they buses or subways - tend to command higher property values simply because the accessibility of that particular block is considered high. If you depend on public transit or highways to get around - particularly to work - then be sure to look in areas that offer this desirable trait.
6. Housing Options
A great neighbourhood is one that offers various types of housing. For instance, a healthy mix of single detached homes, townhomes, and condos of various sizes to meet different preferences and needs can help make it a lot easier for you to find a home for you and your family. Each one of these types of dwellings ranges in price and amenities, so you’ll have your pick of the litter if you’ve found a great neighbourhood that you’d like to plant some roots in.
7. Special Character
All the traits mentioned above add up to create character in a neighbourhood which helps it stand out from the rest of the areas in the city. Unique character - which is influenced by an area’s buildings, streets, culture, and people - is what fosters a sense of pride in a neighbourhood.
As a homebuyer, you certainly want to be able to find a home that will meet all of your needs and tastes. But as important as the actual physical structure of the home is, so are all the surroundings. In the world of real estate, location is the number one factor that determines the value of a home. Even if you plan to settle down and stay put for the long haul, ensuring that your property value remains intact is vital.
Want to learn more about Toronto neighbourhoods? Check out our neighbourhood guide.
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