As you prepare to buy your new home, you’re starting to realize how challenging it can be to find the perfect community. There’s a lot that should go into this decision, and since you’re planning to live in your home for many years to come, you want to make the best choice.
Our tips should help you break down the process to make it easier for you to select the community that best serves your family.
Make a List of Your Needs
Think objectively about the things you need in your neighbourhood. You undoubtedly want things like good schools and safety, but what does that mean to you? For instance, some people might base their concept of good schools on reputation and test scores, while others might be focused on the “newness” of a school. To some, safety might mean being able to leave on an extended vacation without worrying about break-ins.
These concrete details can lead you to a particular community. Manning Village, for instance, has a pond where your children can safely ride their bikes without fear of cars.
Think About the Amenities You Want
You also want a home that’s close to the types of amenities your family needs. All of the communities Sterling builds in are convenient to shopping, but some are more convenient than others. Langdale, for instance, is in the Windermere community, so you’ll be able to easily reach the Currents of Windermere shopping centre. Others might value proximity to nature, which you’ll find in the Westerra community in Stony Plain. It’s surrounded by more than nine hectares of environmental preserves. If your kids are heavily involved in after-school activities like sports, you’ll probably want to choose a community close to their activities to spend less time driving back and forth.
Focus on Your Family
You want your kids to grow up in a neighbourhood with plenty of friends. Different communities tend to attract a particular type of family. Families with young children tend to be looking for more affordable homes. You’ll find this in the Sienna community. With its location in Fort Saskatchewan, lot prices tend to be more affordable, and they also offer less expensive homes like townhomes. Springate in Spruce Grove, on the other hand, focuses only on front-attached homes and duplex style homes, so you tend to get families with upper-elementary age children who have decided to live outside the hustle and bustle of city life.
Many families, though, like their kids to be in a mixed environment. You could get that in a community like Allard, which has a range of different home styles.
Factor in Your Home Style Preferences
We just touched on this in the previous section, but no matter what type of home you prefer, you need to find a community that allows that style. Some communities only allow townhomes, while other communities have a focus on laned homes. Communities guidelines decide how the exterior of the homes can look, so if you have a strong architectural preference, you should look for a neighbourhood that offers that look.
Get Out of Your Car
You can’t really get a good sense of the “feel” of a neighbourhood through the windows of your car as you drive by. You have to get out and walk around a bit. Have your kids play in the neighbourhood playground, and note whether the families there were welcoming or not. Does the neighbourhood seem quiet or lively, and does that fit in with your preferences?
Obviously, it’s impossible to walk around every neighbourhood in Edmonton, so you should only do this with a few neighbourhoods after you’ve narrowed down your choices. This may be the one thing that actually helps you make your decision!
Crunch the Numbers
Finally, you need to take a look at the cost to your family. In addition to the price of your home, you’ll also be paying for the lot. Larger lots in desirable communities tend to cost more. Are you willing and able to pay that price? Would you have to make sacrifices to the interior design to make it more affordable? Additional, property taxes might vary from community to community. Don’t forget to include those in your calculations.
There is a community out there that’s right for your family. You simply have to think carefully about all of your options to choose the one that best meets your needs.