Of course, the first step in deciding on a new home is your lifestyle at present and how your lifestyle will change over the next few years. Are you active in sports? If so, a location with a nearby recreational facility would be ideal. Are you a nature lover? Then perhaps an area with parks and walking trails would suit you. Think about yourself and your family and decide what you enjoy doing and what type of lifestyle you would enjoy in your new home.
Which Neighbourhood is Right for You?
Your ideal home may not be ideal anymore if it's downwind from the garbage dump, or if your home is right next to a freeway overpass. Think about the view. Will you like what you see every time you look out your windows? Selecting where you want to live is as important as deciding what type of dwelling you'd like to live in.
Consider how far your selected neighbourhood is from where you work, how far you're willing to commute and your lifestyle. You'll also think about schools if you have, or are planning to have, children. And what about medical facilities, places of worship, public transportation and recreation?
If you're contemplating the move to an unfamiliar neighbourhood, take the time to go exploring. Walk around, drive around, get a feel for the distance to the nearest convenience store, the commute. Make some notes. Take the neighbourhood tour at different times of day and contact the local municipal office to find out what future developments are planned.
You'll also want to check zoning by-laws and fire codes, especially if you plan to rent the basement or conduct a business in your new home. In law suites, student housing, basement apartments and duplexes all have very specific code requirements.