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How To Choose the Right Neighbourhood for Your New Home
When looking for a new home, you’ll need to decide whether your new Ottawa neighborhood will suit your needs and lifestyle. Choosing the right neighborhood is just as important as choosing the house itself; you’ll need to consider property value ranges, property types, and proximity to schools and other amenities along with various other factors. So, how do you select the best neighborhood? Here are some basic tips for choosing the best place to buy a new home.
1. Create a List of Desired Neighborhood Features
Before you start looking, take a few moments to list the main features you want in your new neighborhood. Do you want a single-family home in the suburbs, or something smaller and closer to the city? How important is it to have schools and shopping centers nearby? Do you prefer urban settings, or are you happier in the rural surroundings? Are you interested in an older neighborhood or a brand new development? Once you have the ideal neighborhood pictured clearly in your mind, you can narrow your search and start looking for the right place.
2. Safety and Crime Levels
Do some research on crime statistics in your chosen neighborhood. This information can usually be found on the Internet, however only limited information may be available for smaller towns. Another good idea is to contact the neighborhood’s local police department. If the neighborhood is at all interested in crime prevention, the police should be able to provide information on how active community policing is. Finally, take a drive through the area and take note of places where there is a lot of vandalism or graffiti. Check to see if homes in the area have crime deterrents like high fences, bars on windows, or “Beware of Dog” signs.
3. Neighborhood Appearance and Feel
Take some time to walk around the neighborhood and see how well it is maintained. Do houses in the area maintain nice yards and driveways? Note whether the streets and sidewalks are clean, and look for vacant properties or abandoned lots. These could one day be used for commercial purposes, which could change the look and feel of the neighborhood. Commercial developments can also affect property values.
Go back to the list you made earlier, and check to see that the amenities you need are available in your chosen neighborhood. If you need to make frequent trips to convenience and grocery stores, restaurants, and shops, you’ll want to make sure these amenities are nearby. If there are bars and clubs in the neighborhood, consider how noisy they may be on the weekends.
A well-maintained school is the sign of a desirable neighborhood. If you have school aged children, think about how long it will take them to get to school every day. Can they walk, or will they need to take public transportation? Is the trip safe? How long does it take to drive to the school?
6. Home Values and Property Taxes
Research current property values in the neighborhood, and compare them with the average prices five and ten years earlier. Note how much property values have increased and whether the neighborhood has undergone any major changes in that time. Find out if the neighborhood has plans for further development. You can find this information through city hall or the neighborhood Chamber of Commerce. Future developments could affect property taxes and road traffic, so it’s a good idea to know if and when there will be changes in the area.
7. Property Type
While choosing your neighborhood is important, a large part of where you live will be dictated by the type of home you want. High-rise condominium apartments will be harder to find in the suburbs than in the city, as will single-family homes with large yards in the heart of the city. With multi-generational homes becoming more popular, you might consider a planned community with access to pools, tennis courts, and clubhouses.
Before buying your new home, take some time to get a proper feel for the neighborhood and surroundings. By considering what features you want in a neighborhood and considering all of your choices, you’ll find the neighborhood best suited to your lifestyle and needs.
Once you’ve found your perfect new neighbourhood, trusting the professionals with your moving will help make the transition go smoothly.
Check off every item on your neighbourhood wishlist by reading our guide to 7 of Ottawa’s best family-friendly neighbourhoods! When you’re looking for a great place to raise your children, you’ll find Ottawa has plenty for the whole family to enjoy, so read on to learn more.
Once you unpack, you may still feel like a stranger in your new neighbourhood. Learning the special benefits of your new area is easy once you start exploring the right way.