Assessing which communities that meet your needs is a process and takes some careful consideration before you buy real estate.  To aid in your research, each year Money Sense magazine ranks over 200 cities across Canada. As a result, here are some of the things to think about:

  • Affordability - Understanding your budget and the real estate market statistics of properties within a city is vital.  How much are the municipal property taxes and local utilities?
  • Employment Opportunities - What does the local employment situation look like?  Are there businesses that suit your skill set?
  • Transportation - Working in another city from where you reside means commuting.  Therefore, are the highways close and how bad is the traffic? What is the access to public transit for trains and busses? How far is the airport for business or leisure?  Another consideration may be significant if your friends and family live far away.
  • Education - If you have children or you are a student yourself, accessibility to schools should be investigated. Are the schools within walking distance?  Also, how are they ranked? Do they have specialized schools for your children's needs?
  • Culture - Determine how you like to spend your leisure time and assess your day-to-day errands. As a result, what are the amenities that should be close by for convenience. This may include entertainment, restaurants, bars, parks and playgrounds, sports clubs, gyms, hobby centres, shops, theatre, cinemas, convenience stores, grocery stores, hospital, vet, coffee shops, gas stations, banks, spiritual places, etc.
  • Safety - Knowing what the crime rate within the city or within neighbourhoods may be very important and the information is accessible. 
  • Climate -  Some areas get more snow from the lake effect. Therefore, investigate what are the precipitation and temperature averages in the area.

Market Sense Magazine ranks cities based on most of this criteria so it would be worthwhile to review. Burlington was ranked 2nd best city to live in Canada and Oakville was ranked 3rd. Some other items once your search is narrowed down to a city include neighbourhoods. At that point it is wise to visit the areas at various times of the day and try and get a sense if it fits with your needs. Is it noisy? Are there smells from a neighbouring industry? Demographics may matter if you want young families on your street so your kids have someone to play with.

Whatever your real estate needs, I will help you find a home you'll love in a place where you'll feel right at home.

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