One of the biggest choices you’ll have to make when buying a house or condo in Toronto is choosing the right neighbourhood. While you may be able to change out the shag carpets and the outdated kitchen in your new home, you can’t change its location.
Here’s what you should consider when deciding where to live:
Proximity to Cafes, Pubs, Restaurants, Shops, Parks and Culture What’s important to you in a neighbourhood? How do you spend your time? If you’re a homebody, easy access to Toronto nightlife might not matter to you, but if you thrive on being in the middle of the action, there are neighbourhoods that are more suited to you than others. Finding out a neighbourhood’s walkability is as easy as typing in an address into walkscore.com.
Daycares and Schools While you might not have kids right now, if they’re in your future, make sure to consider the proximity and quality of the schools and daycares in the neighbourhood. We’ve put together this fancy map of Toronto schools and rankings by neighbourhood to help you know your options.
Crime Safety is important to everyone, so make sure to consider the crime rates in the neighbourhoods you are considering. The Toronto Police website provides a disturbing amount of detail (e.g. homicide maps) about what’s happening in the city.
Transportation Do you commute to work? Easy access to subways, streetcars, buses and highways will go a long way towards making getting to and from work bearable. The TTC Trip Planner will help you estimate the length of your commute.
Affordability Toronto has a huge range of neighbourhoods, and prices differ significantly. Have a look at our Neighbourhood Prices infographics to get a better idea of which neighbourhoods you can afford to buy in.
Real Estate Trends What’s happening to prices in the neighbourhood? Is the area transitioning or already mature? Are prices predicted to follow the overall GTA averages, will they lead the pack or there a possibility of decline as the neighbourhood is becoming less desirable? Buying in an up-and-coming neighbourhood can mean that the value of your home increases faster than the average, but it also means you’ll compromise on conveniences in the short-term. Check out our ROI by Neighbourhood Infographics to find out what happened last year.
Neighbourhood Demographics There’s no denying that neighbours play a big part in shaping a neighbourhood. Toronto has neighbourhoods that are more suited to singles, families, hipsters, people in their 20’s, their 40’s and retirees.
There’s a wealth of information online about Toronto neighbourhoods and your real estate agent should be able to give you insights and ideas about neighbourhoods you may not have even considered. Deciding where to live is as important as choosing the house or condo, so do your due diligence!