It can be tough to find the perfect place to live.

Each neighbourhood has its pros and cons, and the definition of an ideal neighbourhood can change depending on your stage of life. Young families may want to live walking distance away from the school their child attends. Millennial singles may be more interested in an area that is close to downtown.

We reached out to our RE/MAX Influencers—a panel consisting of RE/MAX Sales Associates from throughout Canada—to find out the best advice they give their clients who are seeking out the perfect neighbourhood.

What’s important to you?

When looking for a home, it’s important that you consider your top priorities in terms of location.

One RE/MAX Influencer put it best, “I always advise to consider distance to work, desired schools and kids’ activities. You can change anything about a home, except its location.”

If a large yard is important, you may want to consider looking in an older neighbourhood. If a newer house is important, you may have to live with the fact that the yard will likely be smaller with less privacy, due to the lack of mature trees.

Driving times to work, proximity to golf courses, shopping and services will also likely be factors that you consider before choosing a neighbourhood to live in.

Your budget will have an impact on your decision as well. Several RE/MAX Influencers noted that they often remind their clients to consider re-sale value.

You may also want to consider air and water quality, busyness of the street, and even how much snow accumulates on average during the winter.

Work with an agent who understands your needs

It’s important that you are working with a real estate agent who understands what’s important to you. Your REALTOR® should be asking you questions to understand your needs as a buyer so they can help guide you through the process.

“I need to know exactly what is important to my clients so I can help with the particular neighbourhood choices. The perfect neighbourhood is different for each client,” said a RE/MAX Influencer.

Think long-term

Although it’s important to think about your immediate needs, it’s also vital that you think about what your needs may be five or 10 years down the road.

If your child has one more year of elementary school before he/she graduates to junior high, the proximity of the middle school to your house is equally, if not more important, than the distance to the elementary school.

“I tell my clients to keep in mind that they will likely be in their new home and neighbourhood for at least 5 years. They should consider what their needs may be within those 5 years.”

 
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Victoria BC November 2, 2016

 

A total of 735 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this October, a single property more than the 734 properties sold in October last year.
 
Inventory levels remain lower than last year, with 1,938 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of October 2016, 38.9 per cent fewer than the 3,170 active listings at the end of October 2015.
 
"We continue to see low inventory hindering sales in the local market," notes Mike Nugent, 2016 President of the Board. "Though our numbers are down from the record setting pace set this summer, the market is still moving quickly and is still very competitive for certain properties. High demand areas like Saanich and Oak Bay continue to see multiple offers and areas in the West Shore are also seeing sales over listed prices. In other areas, prices remain firm because of high demand and extremely limited inventory."
 
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in October 2015 was $608,200. The benchmark value for the same home in October 2016 has increased by 24.1 per cent to $755,000.
 
"The federal government's change to mortgage lending rules has also impacted buyers," adds President Nugent. "Buyers that require mortgage insurance are able to qualify for significantly smaller mortgages than before the rule change and this is further limiting their options in a very restricted market. Some buyers have postponed their search in order to save up more of a down payment so they can work within these new limitations."

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