Choosing a neighbourhood
Whether you’re moving for the first time or have moved many times before, the three most important aspects of finding a new home are location, location, and location. Each neighbourhood is unique. Carefully considering the surrounding area when searching for your new home is just as important as finding the right home.
Here are some tips to keep in mind
- Tip #1 – Look at nearby amenities. Your Move Profile has a Destination tab that shows restaurants, hospitals, stores, and schools in your new location. You should also consider different types of transportation. How long will your daily commute be? How is the access to public transportation in the area? How close are you to recreational activities such as bike lanes or nature trails? There can be a trade-off between amenities and tranquility: Only you can decide what things you want easy access to, and which of those are of the utmost importance.
- Tip #2 – If you have children, proximity to good schools can be a deal breaker. Is it important to you that there be schools within walking distance? If not, where will they need to be to take the bus or how far will you need to drive them? What kinds of schools are in the area? What about access to community centres and parks? Your neighbourhood choice can make the transition as smooth as possible for your children.
- Tip #3 – Check the crime rate. Every area has some criminal activity, but some locations are safer than others. If the area you’re looking at has a low crime rate, your family, and your guests will feel – and be – safer. A quick Google search should show you a crime map of the area you’re looking at; additionally, you can reach out to the local police station for additional data or further help with finding this information.
- Tip #4 – Visit the area at different times of day. It can be hard to get an accurate impression of a neighbourhood in just one visit. Returning to the neighbourhood at different times of day and night will give you a good sense of traffic noise, barking dogs, and other distractions that could bother your family. Driving to and from the neighbourhood at different times will help you understand how your daily commute might change based on peak hours.
- Tip #5 – Check in with the locals. No one knows the ins and outs of the neighbourhood better than the people who live there. Take a walk in the neighbourhood and talk to the people who live nearby; tell them your plan to move there and ask them what it’s like to live in this neighbourhood. They may give you the final push you need to make your decision.
- Tip #6 – Think about the long-term. If you’re a homeowner, keep in mind that someday you might be selling this home. Unique features that you sought out when buying your house might not matter to other buyers and, in some cases, could actually be a negative. For example, while you might be looking for a farm-type home in a rural area, trying to sell a home with minimal access to certain amenities might make it much more difficult.
We expect you have more questions. Your Knowledge Centre on Your Move Profile is an invaluable tool for other information and guidance: other VIPs, fact sheets, and FAQs. Take the time to review all the information available and familiarize yourself with what you’re eligible for under the Relocation Directive.
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