Tips for Choosing the Perfect Location

Thursday Oct 15th, 2020


Purchasing a new home is exciting.  You have an endless list of must haves from the chef’s kitchen to the swing-set in the back yard, not to mention his and her sinks in the master en-suite.  In all the planning for your new home it can be easy to overlook important aspects about the location of your property that may drive you crazy down the road.  Taking the time to look over the neighbourhood beforehand can ensure you avoid regrets later.

Buying Near a School

Everyone with young children is looking for a property close to school.  Finding that property right next door may seem like the perfect option, however there are a few things to keep in mind that you may not have thought of.

  1. Find a property close to the school but not on the same block.  While living next to a school may seem like a good idea, don’t forget that there will be a traffic jam on the street twice a day and for every special event.  This can be become a major annoyance if your travel schedule lines up with the start or end of the school day
  2.  Being next to a school may also wreak havoc on your carefully manicured flower gardens.  Short of puttingin a 6 foot fence around the yard, it is impossible to keep children from trampling across your property, whether they mean any harm or not.  This can be even worse if you are on a corner lot that is a perfect shortcut for kids coming and going.
  3. If you work from home living next to a school can become an issue due to the constant noise.  From the sound of school drop-off traffic to children outside for gym class and recess, there will always be a high level of noise.  You may not think it will be an issue when buying, but it will inevitably become a major annoyance after a few months of trying to concentrate in your home office.

Living near a school can have many benefits for both parents and children, but it is important to think carefully about all the pros and cons.  Try looking for a property that backs on to the school property but does not share the same street.  This way you experience the benefits of being close while avoiding the negative impacts.  As a bonus, backing onto a school yard gives you full access to park space all year round.


New buyers often focus on the location of services, shopping and restaurants when looking at the location of a property.  What is often overlooked is what type of pathways and street layout the neighbourhood has. 

  1. If you currently have a dog or plan to have one at some point, you need to pay attention to the design of your new neighborhood.  Although it may not seem like a big deal when you are purchasing a property, having lots of walking paths and different routes to take will become a necessity when going for daily walks.  No one wants to be stuck having to do the same half hour walk once or twice a day.
  2. Most homebuyers don’t think about public transit as they don’t plan to use it.  This can be a costly mistake.  As people take on new jobs and cities enforce new transit regulations, using public transit may become an option that saves time and money for your daily commute.  As your children get older they may also be required to use transit as they attend high school, part time jobs and even university. 

Future Development

There is nothing worse that finding the perfect property with a huge green space behind, only to find out a year later your new neighbour is a shopping plaza or office complex.  Your realtor should be able to find out the use of any green space around you and warn you of potential development. 

  1. It is important to be aware of the future development potential when you are moving into a new neighbourhood.  Some empty lots are simply used as green space and will never undergo development, while other properties could be owned by an investor waiting for the right opportunity to begin construction on your self-claimed football field.  While some commercial development may be welcomed by the community, nearby homeowners may feel differently. 
  2. It is also important to be aware of the zoning regulations in the neighbourhood.  Potential for future mixed use or multi-family developments can really change your quiet community into a busy and crowded street.  On street parking can disappear and traffic will increase at all times of the day.  If the neighbourhood is seeing a large number of infills being completed, be prepared to have construction blocking streets, sidewalks and making a lot of noise during the day.

Choosing the right property can be an exciting and stressful time.  While the number of bedrooms and square footage is very important, try to keep in mind there are other factors often overlooked that can drive you crazy in the future.  While some of the above items may not matter to everyone, it is important to at least go over them so there are no surprises down the road.

Post a comment