Buying a Neighbourhood

Buying a house is more than a financial transaction: It’s a life-changing event that involves interacting with neighbours and becoming part of a community. 

It makes sense to learn everything you can about a neighbourhood before you sign any deals.
The Green Advantage Team is a valuable resource for information, and can tell you a great deal about the local community, including municipal fees and property tax rates, availability of public transit, traffic flows during the day, and if there are amenities such as grocery stores, shopping malls, community centres or schools within walking or easy driving distance.

Here are a few tips to follow when searching for the perfect neighbourhood to buy a home in.

  • View the property and the neighbourhood with google maps and google earth. Get a bird’s eye view of the neighbourhood and what is around it.

  • Research amenities. Part of knowing what a property is worth means learning about the neighbourhood in which a property is located. Be it close to a great school, or easy access to the highway, the value of a property is partly determined by what it’s close to.
     
  • Find out about the neighbourhood zoning. Zoning rules are established by various levels of government and deal with how specific parcels and individual lots of land may be used. One of the main reasons for zoning requirements is to ensure that adjacent lands have compatible uses. Most people would not want a factory built next to their house. Air pollution, noise, and other undesirable factors may make the factory and the house incompatible.
     
  • Find out if your neighbourhood has a community or neighbourhood association. There may be rules and regulations that negatively impact your lifestyle. There may be rules against storing your boat or RV in the driveway or the colour you can paint the outside of your house. There may be restrictions about fence height or installing an above ground pool.
     
  • Drive and walk around the neighbourhood on different days, at different times. Use your senses of sight, smell and hearing to discover the neighbourhood’s influences. See if there’s any excessive noise created by schools, highways, airports and railroads. The landscaping of the yards and the cars in the driveways can give you a good indication of the demographics in the neighbourhood.
     
  • If you’re looking for a neighbourhood with lots of children, look for basketball hoops in the driveway and bikes on the front lawn. Drive through the neighbourhood on a Saturday at Sunday in the summertime or just when school is getting out for the day.

  • Buy in a good school zone, even if you don’t have children. Homes in a good schools zone not only appreciate at a higher than average rate, they also are easier to resell.
     
  • Safety is an important concern for many homeowners. Check the local police crime statistics. Most departments publish “Incidents Reports”
     
  • Beware of empty lots. If your prospective new house backs onto a cornfield, find out what is proposed to be built there. Will it be a highway extension or high-rise condo (bad). Will it be a park (good).
     
  • Real estate boards and associations keep all kinds of sales statistics for neighbourhoods. Ask The Green Advantage Team to share this information with you.
A good neighbourhood is just as important as a great house.  Whatever your needs, The Green Advantage Team will help you find a house you’ll love – in a place where you’ll feel right at home.

Be sure to check out our Communities Section to learn about some of the great places to live in Wellington County.
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