Finding the Perfect Home in a New Community
One of the factors to consider when purchasing a home is the community. You might find the perfect home, but it might not be a good fit once you look around. There could be a variety of reasons why it doesn’t work. Perhaps you were looking for a neighbourhood with few kids and more retired couples. You wouldn’t want to purchase a place with a daycare right around the corner.
And if you’re in an area with young kids, it might behove you to look into the crime ratings of the community. Places with high crime rates may seem less attractive.
At Active Homes, we want you to feel secure and comfortable in your new place, so we’ve compiled a list of things to be aware of.
In most neighbourhoods, the number of violent crimes is usually lower than property crimes. All the communities in Edmonton have their own crime statistics available to anyone. There are certain areas where crime is higher. Families will likely want to avoid areas with more cases of violent crimes. Someone who owns a nice car or values their curb appeal will likely want to avoid places with high property crimes.
In older communities, the homes can have great character. They tend to be unique and smaller than modern houses. Sometimes they’re cheaper. Just be aware of the hidden costs. Some homes haven’t been renovated for the past 40 years. This might not be an issue if you have the budget for unexpected renovation costs.
Other communities will have modern homes. Typically, they’re the communities on the outskirts of a city, referred to as the Suburbs. In many of these communities, you can choose to build and customize a home. There will be a wide variety of modern style homes for you to choose from. These will have minor renovations costs, so you can expect fewer unknown expenses.
The community around your home will play a significant role in your day-to-day life. For example, a young person starting out their career will want access to a decent commute and some recreational areas. Elderly couples who want peace and quiet will want to avoid living in an area next to main thoroughfares and schools.
Also, consider the layout of the community. For example, some residential areas can be challenging to navigate for visitors. Or the neighbourhood might not have parking available for family get-togethers.
One of the difficulties of living in a city is the distance you may have to drive to get to a service you need. When looking at communities, consider if the businesses in your community will work for you.
Everyone has different ideas of what great amenities entail. Young families may want green spaces and parks to play on. Retired couples may want a golf course nearby. A young, childless couple may want easy access to pubs, theatres, or other forms of entertainment.
Young families need to consider schools when purchasing a new home. Don’t just focus on your kids in the now. Imagine them growing up. Is there easy access to elementary, middle, and high schools?
The type of schools available can also affect your decision. For example, families considering private schools will want to live in different neighbourhoods than families who are comfortable with public schools. And some families prefer Catholic Schools or French Immersion Schools for their children.
You may also want to check out the school’s reputation. Not all schools are alike in their ways of dealing with discipline or struggling students.
Commutes can play a role in your choice as well. Families will need to make decisions based on their priorities. Do you have a car? Are you taking public transit? Is a three-hour daily commute something you’re comfortable with? Or would you prefer to be closer to home?
Keep in mind public transit is not always reliable. In some of the extreme winter temperatures, some busses may not run. You need to decide if you want to be within walking distance or if you can afford the odd Uber.
Brand New vs. Established
Certain communities will not allow building new homes unless they fit specific zoning requirements. That’s why building homes usually takes place in the newer neighbourhoods. As mentioned before, there can be different costs and obstacles for each, and there are many things to consider. Are you willing to spend money on renovations? Or would you prefer to start with a clean slate and a warranty?
Lot Styles and Placement
Some communities have little yard space around their homes. If you’re not comfortable hearing your neighbours arguing, you may want a bigger space.
Families with children may want a larger yard. If having a fenced space for your children to play in is important, you may want to consider a neighbourhood with larger lots.
As mentioned before, parking spaces can be affected in certain communities. For example, a family with two vehicles and a teenager who wants their own may struggle to find space for three cars.
If you need to get into a new home right away, you might have limited choices. Building a home usually means longer wait times. In existing homes, you have to wait for the previous owners to move out.
Some communities will have families with young children and no plans to move for the next several years. The community might have everything you desire, but there may not be homes for sale.
In an ideal world, you will find a home in the community of your dreams. You might have to make compromises. This is where having a list of priorities can help. At a glance, you can eliminate some of the less essential items.
Choosing a new community can be a challenge, but it should be one of the things considered before looking at homes. It could save you disappointment and frustration in the long run.