To find a perfect home, you have to find the perfect neighbourhood. If you’re moving to a new area and can’t distinguish one enclave from another, doing the research required for your new permanent digs is no small feat!
Are you looking for an area with the best schools? Or a close knit community that doesn’t consist of residents who simply eat and sleep? You may want a neighbourhood that is family-friendly or that has a good walking score because you don’t want to add a car to your expenses. With the neighbourhood module on the RentPerks app, you can find all of this information at your fingertips via your smartphone.
Think about what you’re really looking for in a neighbourhood and your priorities, you may have to make compromises, so start by putting your must haves on the top of the list. These can range from rental prices to the growth of the neighbourhood and its future plans for development, to what fits you or your family’s lifestyle.
Although a perfect neighbourhood doesn’t really exist, there are components common to all GREAT areas. As you evaluate the various aspects of a neighborhood on the RentPerks App for your prospective home, you’ll want to match them to your current needs and requirements. Here are some factors to consider:
- Does it complement your lifestyle? – A perfect neighbourhood is one in sync with your lifestyle. People tend to be attracted to areas with similar demographics and cultures as their own. Just as important as finding a place with your friends and family nearby, you may find yourself gravitating towards them and having to commute if you move too far. Pick a place that suits you and your everyday lifestyle. For instance, a gated community may not be right for a young professional looking to date, or a family of four would have a hard time living in a bustling neighbourhood downtown
- Schools (because homeschooling is not always the best option). When looking for a new home, great schools are usually at the top of the list of elements which make a great neighbourhood. Not only are they important for families with children, they also make the surrounding areas more valuable and highly sought after. For example, a person who is a new place as they enter into post secondary, they may focus on places that are within walking distance in order to save on transportation costs. Our neighbourhood module will tell you nearby schools and the number of options available for consideration.
- Crime rates (You probably don’t want to end up in the background of an episode of Cops!) Low crime rates are essential to a neighbourhood, especially for those moving with young children. As safety and security is everyone’s priority in a neighbourhood, crime is a way to tell if the area is improving. With our major developments and market data in our app, you can see if the area in mind has made recent improvements or has plans to restructure. In some cases, if you’re on a tight budget, you may want to consider a neighbourhood that is in the midst of a transformation to save a few bucks in your pocket.
- Outdoor activities (because we can’t get all of our exercise at the gym). Living close to outdoor activities can encourage you to go out more and exercise or simply get some fresh air. Being close to places where you can jog, cycle, sunbathe or even sail or jet ski, can keep you motivated and proud of your neighbourhood. Proximity to other outdoor facilities like baseball diamonds, gold courses and tennis courts are also great qualities that make your neighbourhood more of a community.
- Access to medical care. This is important for all tenants but especially for soon-to-be-moms, seniors and retirees who are looking for a place that has a close proximity to hospitals or doctor’s offices. This may be a priority for people in various stages in life and can be the deciding factor if this neighbourhood works for your lifestyle.
- Family-friendly. Areas with children, school and playgrounds are neighbourhoods draw in families with children. If this is one of your deciding factors, things to look for in a this type of community are children playing outside, playgrounds as well as educational centres and libraries. When a community has more accessibility for children, it increases the opportunity for children to play, make lifelong friends and even a neighbourhood watch system.
- Proximity to public transportation. This is a key consideration if you don’t want to buy a car or if the neighbourhood you desire doesn’t have good parking options. Easy access to public transportation with options is a fantastic plus for any neighbourhood. Trains, buses and even ferries are important amenities to any lifestyle, from a retiree who wants to keep the car at home, to a millennial who can’t afford one. Accessibility to public transportation is a key indicator of an invested neighbourhood
- Walk and transit scores – It would be nice to ditch the car keys or avoid the expense all together with a neighborhood that has an EXCELLENT walk score. An area with a score of 70 (out of a 100) or higher means that you can get your walking shoes on and hit the pavement. By reviewing all of the amenities and the transportation options nearby, you can see if the neighbourhood can help you alleviate the expense of a car and or if it’s an area with a lot of road rage. Walk and Transit scores are the deciding factor for most renters when looking for their perfect place!
- Restaurants and shopping centers. Not everyone plans to cook every night, or even at all! If you fit in this category, you need to make sure the neighborhood you select has great restaurants and shopping nearby. Unless you plan to grow your own farm and make your own clothes, it’s always good to check for the nearest grocery stores and shopping options.
- Nightlife and entertainment.What do you want to do tonight? Looking for a nearby town centre, movie theatre, bar or late-night club scene? This could be the reason a neighbourhood comes alive. You may want to walk home after the bar to avoid the cab fare and be the spot for your friends’ after parties. This is usually a priority for anyone who is young and single, but everyone appreciates a neighbourhood where the hot spots are located within walking distance, or a short Uber ride away.