When you’re moving to a new house, choosing a neighbourhood is a significant factor. There’s an argument to be made that it’s a bigger decision than the house itself, as you can make renovations and improvements to a house, but once you’ve picked a neighbourhood, that’s the one you’re stuck with unless you decide to move again.
It’s also hard to come up with a specific list of things to look for in a new neighbourhood, as every person and family will have their own priorities, which may include a good school district, access to public transit, or close to a lively downtown area.
Whatever your personal priorities are, there are some factors to keep in mind as you narrow down to the specific neighbourhoods you want to conduct your home search.
Work with a Professional
No one will know the local neighbourhoods like a local real estate agent. If you’re looking at different Oshawa neighbourhoods and trying to figure out which ones match your criteria, connect with a real estate agent in Oshawa who will listen to what you’re looking for and be able to make suggestions based on your needs.
Finding the perfect house in a neighbourhood that will add a significant chunk of time to your commute can quickly turn the right home into the wrong one. Whether you drive to work or school or take public transit, more than just searching for the commute time online, take the time to run through what your commute would be. Be sure to conduct your run-through at a similar time of day, so you can get a realistic picture of whether you’re willing to live with it or not.
Desired amenities are different for everyone, but it’s essential to consider which ones are priorities for you. Do you need to be in a good school district? Do you want to be close to a shopping centre, or do you want a tight-knit community? Is walking distance to amenities necessary, or is a short drive doable? How important is access to parks or playgrounds? Think about your needs and which ones are must-haves and which ones are nice to haves.
Something many people don’t think to do is spend time in the neighbourhoods they’re considering moving to. Several visits on different days of the week or at different times of day can give you a good feel for what life is actually like in the area, beyond what it looks like on paper. Walk through the neighbourhood, and notice the condition of the houses, streets and sidewalks.
Note the area’s demographics to make sure it’s a good match for your priorities. It can be the nicest neighbourhood in the world, but if you’re a young family with kids looking for people their own age to play with, but you end up in a neighbourhood filled with retirees, it might not be the right neighbourhood for you. And vice versa, if you’re retired and looking for a quiet community, a neighbourhood filled with kids might not be the right one for you.