Where to live: choosing a ‘hood

I grew up in a bustling suburb that was my hometown for a solid 23 years before I left the bedlam of traffic sounds and people for ambling country roads and raucous turkeys that selected inopportune times to cross the street. When it came time for my partner and me to flee the coop after we had saved enough money residing with his parents rent-free, we looked at what our key must-haves were for our new community. There were factors that were imperative to us in order to fall in love with a new place. We appreciated the intimacy of the tight-knit community of my partner’s town where we had resided the last three years, but I missed the proximity to amenities that I had grown up with in the mini metropolis that I had always called home.

We wanted a place that embodied all of these of qualities, while also possessing its own unique character, history, and kept us within a reasonable distance of both of our social circles and our respective families. After a few weekends canvassing a variety of towns and cities, we fell head-over-heels-in-love with a mid-sized town that provided us with that small-town charm and all the amenities we wanted. Now came that hard part – resale or brand new? We needed to make the decision to either pick an established neighbourhood or take a leap of faith at an up-and-coming new subdivision that was under construction. While the established area would have allowed us to move in within 30 days, we were enchanted with the possibilities of what being part of something new would be like. We loved the idea of fostering new connections with people who were likely in the same boat as us – first-time homebuyers or young couples planting their own roots, too.

Purchasing a brand-new home in a new community provided us with a sense of ownership that went beyond the home-buying experience. Our presence here has helped influence a sense of comradeship amongst our neighbours that we wouldn’t trade for anything. Plus, it’s certainly convenient to be within a two-minute drive of a grocery store when we forget to buy milk.

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