Windsor realtors are always ready to find the perfect neighbourhood for their clients lifestyle. For those first time homebuyers, they may desire a smaller home or perhaps a condo near entertainment and work. For families, they want homes near excellent schools. Regardless, our job is to find the area where your needs are met.
When a client tells us: “Find us the perfect neighbourhood,” our job is to go to work and ask them what their “must have” lists include. Maybe they need to be near public transportation or their place of employment. Maybe they want an older home in an established area or new construction where neighbourhoods are new. What’s important to remember is that where you live, dictates your life. If you want to walk to a nearby park or feel comfortable letting your children play outside, or close to shopping, these things are very important and it’s safe to bet that your new property will appreciate in a positive direction.
From a buyer’s standpoint, it’s good to do a little research. Hop in your car and drive around, especially if you are not familiar with a neighbourhood or community. Walk, explore and take in the local stores to ask questions of residents. Other things you may want to note is:
- The condition of homes: Are they well maintained? Are the yards and landscaping appealing?
- If you have children: Are their other families that live there as well? Are the schools close by and buses that transport students to school? Or does the area appeal more to singles or seniors?
- Other considerations: What’s the crime rate? Are you close to commercial property, airports, landfills, prisons or any other aspect that may turn out to be negative?
- Up and coming neighbourhoods: This is a term that is used when a neighbourhood is a bit sketchy. Often you will hear that this sort of area is rising in popularity with first time home buyers, but more than likely, there are some drawbacks.
Keep in mind that a very good realtor should be familiar with every neighbourhood in the area. These agents are called, “neighbourhood specialists,” and they can tell you just about everything you need to know about the location you are considering. They should tell you the strengths as well as the weaknesses. That is why I always urge buyers to find an agent that lives or works in the area where they want to move.
Even if you don’t have children, you should always consider buying a home with good schools nearby. At some point, you will want to sell your home and I can guarantee you that selling a home in a desirable school district will be much faster than selling a property in a bad school district. Again, you don’t have to have children, but you may sell your home to someone who will. Neighbourhoods with great schools attract more buyers.
- Discuss with your realtor about the schools in the neighbourhood
- Ask neighbours what they think of the schools in the area
- Look up school information online
- Take a tour of the schools to get a good feeling on what they are like. You can’t get that from a computer.
Again, there isn’t a buyer around that wants to live in an area where crime is a problem. Your real estate agent should warn you and steer you away from a neighbourhood that is dangerous, and especially popular with burglaries and break-ins.
- Find a website for your area that gives statistics on crime.
- Contact the nearby police department.
- Do many of the homes have bars on their windows?
- Do the homes look vacant and in bad condition?
- Talk with neighbours to get their impression
- Is there graffiti in the neighbourhood?
Keep Your Family Or Future Family In Mind:
Again, you can be a single home buyer, but you must always think like a family buyer when deciding on a neighbourhood. Even if you are looking at condos, make sure the area is safe and still near good schools. Yes, most families are not looking at condos, however, everyone looks for a good, safe neighbourhood for their budget.
So don’t just consider how many bedrooms you will need, nor bathrooms, or if there is a large bonus room. You will also want to take a good look at the neighbourhood and the surrounding area. Many buyers often feel that a bigger and better home but in a less desirable area is the best buy. But a smaller home in a terrific neighbourhood often appeals to more buyers.
Do your research and make sure you hire a real estate expert that is a neighbourhood specialist. You will be very glad you did.