Navigating Grey Bruce Neighbourhoods

How to Navigate the Unknown Neighbourhoods when Buying a Home

Published - October 25th 2017 2 minute read.

It's your dream home — it has the perfect backyard, the front porch and the window in the kitchen that lets in the early morning sun. It has all the space you were hoping for (plus a two-car garage!) and you're even thrilled with the prospect of being able to have a man cave in the extra bedroom. But here's the thing — while the home is located in Grey Bruce like you were hoping for, it is in a neighbourhood that you really are not familiar with. Here is how to scout out those unfamiliar neighbourhoods to see if it is a good fit for you.

What infrastructure and services do you need?

If you drive everywhere, the only thing you may be concerned about is the upkeep of the local roads. But things such as access to public transit, well kept walking paths, and home phone and Internet connections are all other things to consider. You may also want to think about of ease of access to services such as the grocery store, gas station and local pharmacy and whether these meet your needs (as are they too far to drive, grocery store is too small to shop).

Does it offer easy access to schools?

Even if you do not have kids now, if you are planning on it down the line, public or private school system options are going to become very important. You do not want to have to drive them a long way to school each day, or to not be part of a bus route, but you will also want to know that they are attending a reputable school offering a valuable education. Do some research into the schools within the district of your home and see if they meet your expectations and requirements.

Is it growing?

Growth within a neighbourhood is a good sign as it shows that people like living there, more people want to live there, and that the local council is seeking to improve the neighbourhood by increasing the population. In addition, when more people inhabit a community, it increases the chance of beneficial services and infrastructure being added, such as a playground or park for the kids (or dogs!), making it part of the bus route, or even simply improving roads and foot paths. You can check for growth by seeing how many of the houses appear new or if there are currently a lot of new houses being built.

Safe Neighbourhoods and Parks

How safe is it?

Check for things such as street lights, houses that are lit and welcoming, the presence of police going through the neighbourhood, and whether it appears that children are playing out in the yard and there are people outside. If current residents feel the neighbourhood is unsafe, they likely will not let their children play unsupervised, or walk around the neighbourhood alone. You can typically also do a check on the Internet to evaluate the crime rates of neighbourhoods within a given area.

While some of these may sound trivial or unimportant now, do not let having found that perfect house cloud your perspective: at some point all of these considerations will be relevant and in the long run you will be glad you gave them some careful thought. Do not do it alone though, contact one of our REALTORS® to get a professional opinion on the best neighbourhoods to buy your new home.

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