A home is one of the most significant investments we ever make in our lives, especially if you’re a first-time home buyer. When you’ve finally saved enough for the down payment to purchase your home, the next step is an even harder one: deciding where to move to.
Choosing a right neighbourhood is just as important as choosing the type of dwelling. When thinking about your ideal place to live, consider the following factors.
Your method of commute and the time it takes is one of the most important factors in choosing the right place to live. Where is work or school? Will you be driving or taking public transportation for the most part? If you’re the latter, being near public transit will definitely be a necessity when selecting your desired neighbourhood.
Everyone has a different kind of lifestyle that fits their needs in their current stage in life. If you are a young professional, the vibrant city life may appeal to you. Living in the Downtown or Mount Pleasant neighbourhood is a great option as most amenities are a short walk or bike ride away. Since shopping and restaurants are all within walking distance, you are able to omit the costs of having a vehicle, potentially saving you a lot of money down the road. Most properties available in these neighbourhoods are condos or townhomes.
If you’re starting a family, you may need more space to grow your family, in which a single family house may be the more suitable option. As well, choosing a family-friendly neighourhood will be an extremely important factor.
Consider your hobbies and routines as well. If you like to visit the gym a few times a week, find out if there are gyms or community centre nearby. If your child is starting preschool, your routine may include regular trips to the library. If you’re big fans of hosting regular gatherings with friends or family, make sure that there are groceries nearby. It’s all about making sure the neighbourhood you choose to move to can accomodate to your lifestyle.
Type of Dwelling and Property Value
Most Canadians are used to living in detached homes, and many people would consider owning a house as “the Canadian dream”. However, depending on your lifestyle, you may find condos to be the better option.
Say if you are the young professional who wants to strike a balance between work and play, the idea of garden work or maintaining a large house may not appeal to you. While townhomes and condos are smaller, the biggest benefit is that most of the maintenance work are handled by professionals. As well, most condos also provide amenity rooms for you to host the occasional party or even a guest room to house a visiting friend. While we see a narrowing price gap between the different types of dwellings, condos and townhomes are still much more affordable than most detached homes, which can leave you with extra savings for other investments or contingencies that arise.
If you are starting a family, you may prefer having more room for new family members and more private space for you and your partner. For those that are looking for quieter neighbourhoods and closer proximity to the outdoors, Delta and the Tri-Cities are great options for consideration.
As for property value, it’s important to understand what’s the current value of your desired neighbourhood, and do a comparison of the average prices from five and even ten years ago. This will serve as an indication on how much the property value has changed since then. Not only so, it’s beneficial to learn whether or not a neighbourhood has future plans for expansion and development, as these developments are likely to affect property taxes and road traffic.
It’s important for parents to have access to good education for their children. For many of them, it’s even the main reason for their move to a new place.
You may be familiar with school rankings that are published every year and have already been referring to it during your house search. It’s important to not only review the rankings, but to see the other things that each school may offer, including extra-curricular activities and clubs that your child may be interested in.
On top of that, look at special programs provided by each school district. There are language immersions, challenge programs, mini-schools, IB and more. Visit the school districts’ websites to find out more about where each of these programs are.
We know this is an important part of home search for parents, so when you look up any property on our website, you can find out which schools are nearby with our catchment feature.
Metro Vancouver is rapidly changing, so it’s essential to stay informed on new developments that affect how a neighbourhood appeals to you. Large transit and community development plans bring transformation to many areas. The Marine Gateway, that used to be a less populated area in Vancouver, has now become a popular hub in a few years time. The Evergreen line brought Port Moody and Coquitlam Centre much closer to downtown Vancouver. Upcoming developments such as the Broadway Corridor Subway and the Southeast False Creek development project will add a lot more housing options. Knowing what are the future plans and developments in each neighbourhood will definitely be helpful as you select the right neighbourhood for you.
Let us help you find your desired neighbourhood!
Our Realtors® are experts in finding the best neighbourhoods that fit your commute, lifestyle, and budget, as each of our agent is a neighbourhood specialist. They can look out for newest listings, filter through the many properties for sale and recommend select finds that fit your needs. Let them help you with the legwork so you can focus on making an informed decision about the ideal neighbourhood to move to. We are glad to assist your quest for the right home in the right neighbourhood.