How to Pick a Neighbourhood With a Good Return on Investment
Canadians move five to six times according to the Canadian Association of Movers. I’m personally living in my 10th home, and I’m guessing I have a few more moves left in me.
When you’re buying your first home, it’s a good idea to buy in a neighbourhood where you’re going to get a good return on your investment. Chances are, it’s not going to be your forever home. Life happens, children are born, job transfers, divorce, children leave home, you come into a windfall. Like that one! Therefore, you want to buy in a neighbourhood that you will maximize your investment.
Without a crystal ball, how do you know which neighbourhoods are the best to invest in? Driving through a neighbourhood can be a good start. Is the neighbourhood growing or is it dying? Are there abandoned stores? A lot of places for lease? Graffiti on store walls and mailboxes? Are the homes not well-maintained? Are there vacant homes? This could be a sign that the neighbourhood is dying.
On the other hand, if you drive through an area and it has new houses, condos are being built, older homes are being renovated. Are there amenities popping up like restaurants and stores? This is a good indicator that the neighbourhood is growing, or it’s turning around.
Walkability score can also be a good indicator. The walkability score goes from zero to 100. A 0 to 10 score would mean you have to drive everywhere. You’re living in the boonies. On the other hand, a score of 90 to 100 would mean you can walk everywhere. You really don’t even need a car. The higher the walkability score is another good indicator that the neighbourhood is a good one to invest in. In Guelph, the neighbourhood that has the best walkability score is downtown Guelph, which has a walkability score of 98.
A couple of other things you can look at in a neighbourhood is what is the school rating? Higher school ratings will mean the neighbourhood is more desirable for families with school-age children. Also, what is the crime rate in the neighbourhood?
Buying in a good neighbourhood, or one that’s up and coming, can be one of the best ways of protecting your investment.