Top 4 Neighbourhoods in Guelph for First-Time Homebuyers

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The small city of Guelph is quickly becoming a popular choice for first-time homebuyers. Located just 100 kilometres up the 401 from the booming Toronto real estate market, the historic charm and affordability of Guelph offers a unique combination of quiet small-town life and big-city opportunities.

But where should a first-time homebuyer look for Guelph real estate listings? We’ve narrowed the search down to our top four neighbourhoods:

Historic Downtown

For first-time homebuyers with money to spend and a taste for urban hustle and bustle mixed with old-world charm, the historic downtown district has a lot to offer. Close to the Guelph Public Library, the farmers’ market, and vibrant Market Square, downtown Guelph is a highly walkable, urban neighbourhood with good transit connections.

Historic downtown Guelph has a variety of housing options, from upscale single-family homes to affordable condo developments, and everything in between. The average home price for this neighbourhood is an affordable $249,052.

The Ward

If you value walkability and you’re looking for an artistic and hip place to call home, The Ward is where you want to be. The Ward has traditionally been home to a vibrant arts scene and has recently gone through a rebirth, as young residents are drawn here by the older, affordable homes. Lovingly restored homes now dot the streetscape, while condo construction whirs on some of the larger sites.

Even on a small budget, you’ll find yourself with many choices in The Ward. If renovations aren’t in your wheelhouse, the boom of new condo developments, including the iconic 600-unit Metalworks complex, are an attractive alternative.

Living in The Ward means you’ll enjoy proximity to all of the hottest hangouts in Guelph including breweries, cafés, skate parks, independent theaters, and the famous Grotto Climbing Company. All of these amenities are at your doorstep while staying within walking distance of two rivers, parks, and downtown Guelph.

Exhibition Park

For homebuyers who want to be close to the action but far enough for some peace and quiet, we suggest you look northwest from downtown to the quaint neighbourhood of Exhibition Park. This dense, tree-lined community full of nineteenth-century homes and sprawling estates is a slice of paradise but still just a short distance from downtown.

Attractions here are pastoral in nature and include excellent schools, small cafes, independent grocers and, of course, the namesake park. Established in 1871, Exhibition Park is one of the oldest parks in the city and features multiple baseball diamonds, walking trails, tennis courts, and an indoor arena.

Housing values in Exhibition Park tend to be higher, but there are still deals for the industrious homebuyer, as older sellers downsize from their century-old homes nestled among the million-dollar estates.

Hanlon Creek

Finally, for homes that are move-in ready and spacious enough for a growing family, south Guelph is an obvious choice. Specifically, the area called Hanlon Creek boasts some of the highest performing schools in the district and has plenty of green space.

The lot sizes in Hanlon Creek tend to be larger, so if you are craving backyard space, look no further. There are also a variety of townhomes and duplexes available, and the neighbourhood maintains an impressive Walk Score of 80 by being located close to parks, the University of Guelph, and the amenities at the Stone Road Mall.

The average home price in Hanlon Creek is $287,587, making it ideal for first-time homebuyers looking to purchase a newly built home.

The city of Guelph has everything a first-time homebuyer needs: affordable housing options, proximity to Toronto and Kitchener, arts and culture, and endless parklands. Now that you know which neighbourhoods are right for you, you can begin your home search for real estate in Guelph with confidence!

Flickr: James Saper

About Jordann Brown

Jordann Brown is a freelance content marketer and owner of the popular personal finance blog My Alternate Life. She has been featured in major publications and by news outlets including CTV News, the Globe and Mail, Moneysense and the Huffington Post. You can follow Jordann on Twitter at @myalternateblog.

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