February 7, 2012
Buying a home? Think about the community
Where do you see yourself in five years?
What’s more, where do you see your house in the next five years? When you buy a house, it’s not just the inside that counts. How do you ascertain if your day-to-day indoors will be as well-accommodated as all the other regular components that are incorporated in your life that involves going outside?
Do you drive everywhere, even to the corner store? Or do you prefer to be within walking distance to the local grocery store? Is having an indie fair trade coffee shop or yoga studio a must? Do you work in finance and prefer being able to walk to your office and also have access to after-work watering holes close by? Are you used to having a good brunch spot and sushi take-out place within a ten minute walk? For some, it may be good daycare or schools for the kids; a public library, community center or gym or a place of worship. Is being close to public transportation that allows access to all such establishments just as good living within walking distance?
How far is your work commute? Do you want to be able to take public transportation to get to work so you won’t have to pay for parking and gas? It’s a good idea to think about your normal routines then consider how accessible your neighbourhood will be in regards to those needs.
And it’s not just about where it’s at now but potentially where the neighbourhood will grow to be in the near future. Imagine how the residents of certain Toronto neighbourhoods felt, who moved into nice, quiet residential areas; then a few years down the line had to deal with a number of noisy bars and clubs that cropped up and lined the streets. You may wish to investigate the zoning designations too, during your home search.
Time Well Spent
You may think that Google Streetview will give you a good enough sense of how a neighbourhood looks and what types of businesses and recreational areas are nearby, plus you’ve driven around the area – but how about some real get-to-know-ya spending time? It’s not a bad idea to go on some “dates” in your prospective neighbourhood. Spend both days and nights hanging out, plus weekends to really see what it’s like to live there and truly know if it’s where you want to be.
Use Zoocasa’s mapping technology to get a look at the properties of interest on your list to assess what community features the area offers. You can also find walk score, demographics and school info, etc. on Zoocasa.com.