When buying your first home, it’s important to think about the location. What communities are you interested in? Are there necessities surrounding your home? Are there schools nearby? Also, think carefully about the location because it also affects your home’s value.

According to According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, here are some things to consider:

  • Do you want to live in a city, a town or in the countryside?
  • How easy will it be to get to where you work? How much will the commuting cost?
  • Where will your children go to school? How will they get there?
  • Do you need a safe walking area or recreational facility, such as a park, nearby?
  • How close would you like to be to family and friends?
  • Is our neighbourhood sustainable?

What is a Sustainable Neighbourhood?

A sustainable neighbourhood meets your needs while protecting the environment. Homes in a sustainable neighbourhood are located near shops, schools, recreation, work and other daily destinations. This helps reduce driving costs and lets residents enjoy the health benefits of walking and cycling. Land and services, like roads, are used efficiently. Sustainable neighbourhoods also feature a choice of homes that are affordable.

In your search for a sustainable neighbourhood, here are some questions to ask:

  • Easy transportation
    • Are stores, schools, recreation facilities, restaurants, and health services within walking or cycling distance? Will your children need to take a bus to school? Can they walk to the park? Can you do most of your shopping without a car?
    • Are there nearby bus stops and cycling lanes? How long is the bus ride to work, or school? Can you safely bike?
  • House size and features
  • Are the homes compact with shared walls to reduce heating costs?
  • Are homes reasonably sized with lots requiring less upkeep?
  • Are there different dwelling types (such as single-detached, semi-detached, townhouse and apartments) in the neighbourhood?
  • Are the lots modestly sized? Roadways narrow? Driveways/parking areas small? Do natural drain ways lead to streams or park lands? Is there native vegetation and streams with woodland edges?
  • Do the buildings have a friendly face to the street? Are the community centres, shops and meeting places welcoming?
  • Are there trees lining the street? Do you find the homes interesting to look at?  Do the building sizes feel comfortable to you? Are the roads easy to walk along or cross?
  • Do the homes have “eyes on the street”? (In other words, are there people around who might watch out for you? Is there somewhere to go in an emergency?)
  • Is there adequate street lighting?
  • Are there safe places for children to play?
  • Are the streets safe for cyclists and pedestrians?
  • Is traffic slow moving and light?
  • “Look and feel”
  • Safety

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