When you start looking at buying a new home it can be easy to fall in love with the house and forget about where the house is. A big part of enjoying the home you buy is enjoying it's location, so remember to do some research and find a home somewhere you know you'll love not just the home, but also the neighbourhood.
Remember, your home is an investment, and even with your starter home you'll be there for several years. We put together some things that we look for in neighbourhoods to help our clients look for their first home.
Proximity to schools is an important thing to note in any neighbourhood you're looking at buying a home in, whether you have kids or not. Homes that are in highly desired schools typically have higher value. If you do have a kids, or are planning to start a family soon, do some research in the surrounding schools and decide if the location to the surrounding schools works for your family.
Walkability of the area
If you're the type of person that likes to be able to walk to near amenities, take a look at your potential home's Walk Score. Walk Score gives you an idea of what restaurants, stores, or any other amenities are within walking distance to the home, and then gives a ranking to the neighbourhood. It also ranks in terms of the bike paths, and transit routes that can get you to specific locations within 30 minutes.
You can also research the area using Google Maps. Google Maps does require more extensive research, but it is better for looking at the surrounding area, not just the neighbourhood of the house.
Who are your neighbours?
Understanding the demographics of the area you will live in is an important step of researching your new home. Will you be on a street of similar people to you, or will you be out of place? It's also important to look at the curb appeal of the surrounding homes as well. Will the level of maintenance you typically put in to increase curb appeal look similar or out of place within the community to choose?
Ask your Niagara real estate questions about what the neighbourhood is like. An experienced Niagara realtor will know the demographics of areas of the region to better help you choose the right place to live.
Another thing to think about when researching a neighbourhood is what the area will look like in five years time if you are planning to move again. Most first time home buyers will sell their home, so it's important to remember your home is an investment. Keep an eye on any news for new developments in your neighbourhood, and think about whether they will increase or potentially decrease the value of your home.
For more information on what to look out for when buying your first home, download our free Home Buyer's Guide. This resource is full of tips to help you understand the home buying process and will be your guide to first time home buying.