When buying a home in Edmonton, obviously you’ll be looking at key details like square footage, price and condition. However, just as important to your home buying decision is the neighbourhood.
Now, everyone who knows me knows that I love Edmonton, and there are “gems” (some of them hidden) in every neighbourhood. So I’m not suggesting here that one area is necessarily better than another. It all depends on your unique needs, lifestyle, and future plans.
However, when it comes to choosing the right neighbourhood for your next home – which, again, is the neighbourhood that is RIGHT for you –here are some important things to pay attention to:
Schools: Many families narrow down their home search by focusing on school districts, and seeing what schools and other care programs are available within transportation (bussing) boundaries. It’s important to think ahead here, too – because today’s elementary school kids are tomorrow’s high school kids. If you’re planning on staying put for a number of years, consider what the local school access situation will be like in your preferred neighbourhood(s).
Commute: Though cars these days are kind of like space-age personal transportation and communication systems, nobody really wants to spend hours a day commuting day, after day…after day. Keep this in mind when looking at neighbourhoods. And while it may be possible that you’ll change job locations in the next few years, you should still pay attention to things like proximity to highways, access to public transportation, and other aspects that can make your commute easier and less stressful.
Utility Costs: This is something that a lot of first time home buyers initially overlook. They don’t know that, yes, different neighbourhoods charge different rates. Home buyers should also look into access to television cable and high speed Internet. You want to make sure it’s an easy, quick hook-up and not some long, expensive process.
Property Values: The last couple of years has seen unprecedented volatility in the Edmonton housing market, and so accurately getting a grip on property values isn’t as easy today as it was a handful of years ago. Because of this, I recommend that you go back about 10 years in order to get a sense of how property values have increased. Of course, you also want to know what the property taxes are (by the way, they’re going up this year – read here).
Development: It’s simply amazing how much an area can change in a matter of months. Everything from malls to entertainment centers to condos can seem to pop up out of nowhere. As you research different neighbourhoods, consult the planning and development office to see “what’s in store” for the months and years ahead (mindful, of course, that these plans could change – so you don’t want to put TOO much stock in them).
Helping you Pick the RIGHT Edmonton Neighbourhood
As I mentioned earlier, the RIGHT Edmonton neighbourhood is the one that fits your needs and lifestyle goals. And that’s why it’s important that you work with a REALTOR who can help you get the answers and information you need, and empower you to objectively evaluate different buying options.
To learn more about Edmonton neighbourhoods and get the support you need as you focus in on finding a great home in a great neighbourhood, call me at 780-709-0811. I’m here to help!