Why choosing a good location matters, and how to do it

For most homebuyers, the search for the perfect home starts with a good location. When NextHome conducted our Great Canadian Real Estate Survey, we asked Canadians: what’s the most important thing you look for when buying a home?

To no surprise, the most-popular response was “location.”

The area you choose will dictate how much you’ll need to spend in order to buy and live there, the type of home you’ll get, your lifestyle, and your home’s future resale value, among other things.

Location is also the one feature about your home that you can’t change, so it’s important to choose wisely.

What makes for a good location? It will include proximity to schools, services and shopping; be a stone’s throw from work place and green space; and offer easy access to highways and public transit. But it’ll cost you.

Many home hunters, particularly first-timer buyers, seek value and a good investment opportunity in “up-and-coming” neighbourhoods, which allow you to get your foot in the door at a more-affordable price point, and reap the rewards when the area comes into its own in a few years.

Vancouver-based real estate research and consulting firm, Cutting Edge Research Inc., offers these 12 questions to analyze an area’s potential:

• Is the average income increasing faster than the provincial average?

• Is the population growing faster than the provincial average?

• Is the area creating jobs faster than the provincial average?

• Does the area have more than one major employer?

• Will the area benefit from an economic or real estate ripple effect?

• Has the political leadership created an atmosphere conducive to economic growth?

• Is the Economic Development Office progressive and helpful?

• Is the area’s infrastructure being built to handle the expected growth?

• Are there any major transportation improvements in the works?

• Is the area attractive to Baby Boomers’ lifestyle?

• Is there a short-term problem occurring that may be rectified in the future?

• Is there a noted increase in labour and material costs in the area?

Choosing the right location takes planning, and means balancing your lifestyle and budget. Be realistic, keep and open mind, and you might be surprised at where you end up!


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