Location, location, location. If you’re on the hunt for a new home, then you’ve probably spoken to at least one real estate agent whose focus is entirely on where you want live. And they’re not wrong.
When buying a house, the community that you choose will determine what amenities and features are available around your new home. It can also affect what type of house is available, the size of the house you can afford and even what it looks like. The different types and styles of homes vary not only between the inner city and the suburbs but also between different new home communities. As a new home builder, what we can build and the architectural guidelines can vary greatly depending on the community.
Where you choose to live may also be greatly influenced by the type of family you have. A single person without a car may choose to live in a condo in the inner city but a growing family, multi-generational family or retired couple may prefer having a larger house and want a community with more walkable pathways and plenty of greenspace like what you’ll find in the suburbs.
Depending on your lifestyle and the members in your family, you have a lot to consider when choosing where to live. To help you find the right community, we’ve compiled seven different things to consider that can help you make a decision when looking for a new neighbourhood.
One of the top concerns for those who have children or who plan to have children in the future is the types of schools and school options available in the area. It’s a good idea to check into the various schools that are located nearby to ensure that your children (or potential children) will receive an excellent education.
Calgary has a number of different choices available including public schools, Catholic schools, charter schools and private schools. Most of this information can be found online. Another great source of information is an Area Manager in any of our new home communities. They’ll know what the community has to offer and often they are parents themselves and can offer even more insights into what is available in your prospective neighbourhood.
Commute to Work
It’s important to consider the commute to and from work to ensure that you’re not spending more time on the road than necessary.
Many people prefer to live in the suburbs so they don’t have to deal with the congestion and the constant city traffic more prevalent in the inner city. Often answering questions about the maximum amount of time you would consider for your commute to work is the first step in narrowing down what quadrant of the city you wish to live in – northwest, southwest, northeast or southeast.
Depending on the location and times that you work, it is possible to find a location that has an easy commute to and from work.
Walking Distance to Parks and Recreation Centers
Those who have children or who enjoy an active lifestyle may place a high priority on being within walking distance of parks and recreation centers.
Depending on the members in your family, participating in sports may range from a recreational soccer team for young children at a local sports field to competitive hockey for adults at the latest, newly built arena. Alternatively, it may simply be pathways or parks as a way to get out of the house on a warm, sunny day and get some exercise in your local area.
Sidewalks for Safe Walking
Walkable neighbourhoods are imperative for children walking to school and provide a safe way to get around your community. Look for a sidewalk on at least one side of the road and clearly marked crosswalks to ensure they can cross the road safely and walk safely without worrying about the local traffic.
Communities that are designed for outdoor activities and walkability often have a more friendly community feeling. It becomes a great way to greet, stay-in-touch and meet new neighbours.
Routine Neighborhood Noises and Smells
Something most people don’t often think about is the noises and smells within the neighborhood. However, certain undesirable sights and smells can make the enjoyability of living there less than ideal. Birds and other wildlife will make a wonderful backdrop when you’re relaxing on the porch in the evening, but high amounts of traffic, loud dogs, and other bothersome noises might not be. The smell of flowers might be welcoming, but a person may want to avoid moving to a place that often has a bad smell or that is close to a restaurant they might be able to smell.
Simply taking a walk around a potential home site or neighborhood to see what noises and smells are common can reassure you that there are no hidden annoyances.
Nearby Local Businesses
No matter what area of the city you choose you live in, you may not have everything you need right on your doorstep.
Most communities will have some local shops and restaurants close-by or even inside your new community. However, if there are particular businesses like doctors’ offices, grocery stores or dry cleaners, which are a necessity, then it is important to make a note of where the closest ones are to a potential community. And if they need to be within walking distance, then it may be best to look at the position of the home you want inside the community in relation to each business to ensure they are within a reasonable walking distance.
Anything Else That’s Important
Many people have other aspects that may make a neighborhood ideal or not-so-ideal. Take the time to think about what was fantastic about the previous neighborhood or things that were not so great and should be avoided in the new neighborhood. It’s usually a good idea to drive through the neighborhood a few different times to see what it’s like during a weekday, on the weekends during the day, and on Friday or Saturday nights. This gives any potential homebuyer a good idea of what to expect when they move in.
These are just a few of the things a person should consider when they’re looking at new communities in Calgary. For most people, buying a house is not something they’re going to do again for many years, and so taking the time in the early stages of your home search will help you avoid disappointment later in the home buying process. Be sure to check out every neighborhood you’re considering, to determine which one offers everything you’re going to need before you choose a site for your home.
It’s important to look not just at the houses for sale but also at the neighborhoods. This will ensure you find the perfect home, in the perfect neighborhood so you can truly enjoy living in your dream home.