Top Tips for Choosing the Right Neighborhood

February 9, 2013

in Vancouver real estate

Vancouver downtown condosThe old real-estate mantralocation, location, location” is ingrained into the consciousness of house-hunters everywhere because it is just that vital. Simply put: it’s one of the most important factors to consider when looking for a new place. Indeed, those who move into a new house or apartment end up living in the overall neighborhood just as much as they do their home. That’s why it’s important to put as much care into neighborhood selection as property selection.

living in a multi-family complex - Townhouse living With that in mind, here are some quick and foolproof ways the average home hunter can ensure they are relocating to a neighborhood conducive to their lifestyle as well as their familiar obligations.

Ask around

Of course, it’s important to try and talk to as many potential neighbors as possible when visiting an open house or apartment showing. It is equally important to walk the area and speak to local merchants, shopkeepers and other members of the community in order to get a sense of the overall vibe. Doing so will give the person relocating a fair idea of not just what the nearby amenities may be, but the type of members of the community as well.

For example, those looking for a neighborhood good for families aren’t going to want to move into an area populated mostly with college students. Conversely, most college students likely aren’t going to want to move into an area or building predominantly consisting of families.

Visit the neighborhood at different times

It’s one thing to visit a home or apartment building at 1:30 in the afternoon when everything is peaceful; it’s another to visit it at night or early in the morning. Visiting an area at night will give the mover a sense of the safety factor of the neighborhood, and by visiting in the morning, those same people can gauge whether or not traffic congestion will present problems with the work commute.

Consider peripheral costs

Home prices and property taxes are obviously the most important cost factors to keep in mind when looking for a new place, but there are others that are nearly just as important. For example, while one home in a certain area may offer an attractive price, it may be so far away from work as to make the commuting cost prohibitively expensive. These days, everyone is painfully aware of the rising cost of gasoline, so moving into a slightly more expensive home closer to work may balance out by saving the mover money on fuel in the long run.

Utilize the Internet

This may seem like an obvious choice, especially in today’s era when everyone is online constantly. But there are some great resources for those looking to relocate to a new area. On the subscription end, provides home hunters with neighborhood crime figures, school-performance stats as well as price-appreciation records of homes in the area. The site costs $29.99 for a monthly subscription. On the free end, Streetadvisor offers comprehensive neighborhood reviews. User’s can filter search results by a number of criteria, including type of residents, amenities and schools.

By keeping these tips in mind, those looking to buy a new home or rent a new apartment should have no trouble finding out all relevant info of their potential new neighborhood.

“Martin Alexander is an independent urban development researcher. He has been extensively involved in townhome community planning and enjoys sharing his insights on various blogs. Visit the community of Mahogany website to find out more about townhome communities.”


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