Things You Should Know About Your New Neighbourhood

TMAAT April 11, 2014

Affordability
How much will it really cost to live in your new neighbourhood? On top of mortgage or rent, there will be utilities, as well as the hidden costs of convenience. If your new place has a strata title, then you may need to make monthly payments to the owners’ corporation. Being near schools or shopping might increase the cost, but will you be using those amenities? If you’re going to be living in a high rise, then make sure you’ve considered the price of parking. Is it worth it?

Proximity
Where do you travel to the most? Try to make sure that your chosen neighbourhood is as close as possible to work, school, the gym and wherever else you spend your days. Time spent travelling is the same as money spent. For singles, it’s usually cost vs. convenience. For families, there’s often more than one job and more than one school to consider.

Footpaths
The footpaths can say a lot about a neighbourhood. You can gauge how active an area is by observing the foot traffic. Most people would prefer to live in a walkable neighbourhood where they can get to parks, shopping and perhaps schools and churches on foot, where people have places to go and feel safe walking in the neighbourhood. Others prefer a more isolated, country feel, where their home can only be conveniently reached by car.

Good Schools
You may or may not have children, but an area with good schools will always have higher property values. If you have children, be sure to look beyond the school scores offered online. Ask the neighbours and look into taking a tour of the local schools. Good schools build community pride and engage students with more than just academics.

Crime Rate
A high crime rate can carry hidden costs, affecting the security of your property and your family and taking a psychological toll. High rates of reported incidents can detract from the value of a property. Crime rates are easily researched through home buying sites, but if you’re a renter, have you looked into the statistics? A high crime rate can also raise insurance rates significantly.

Sounds
Take a moment and listen. Factor in the time of day and determine if it’s too loud for you. Is there a bird that won’t stop singing? Is traffic unimaginable during peak times? A bustling city block may seem like a great idea at the time, but the noise may turn out to be more than you can deal with.

Smells
Is there something pungent floating in the air? Check the landscaped and native flora to avoid possible allergies. Ask what kind of public or manufacturing facilities are nearby. That aesthetically pleasing home may lose its appeal when the previously unmentioned sewer treatment plant fires up after you sign on the dotted line.

The best thing to do when researching a neighbourhood is to take all the time you can and ask lots of questions. Get information from multiple sources, both online and through talking to people directly. Visit the neighbourhood in person as often as you can.

Happy house hunting, and when you do make up your mind about where to move, give us a call at Two Men and a Truck. We can help to make your move quick and trouble-free.

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