Welcome to our monthly "Dear Urbaneer" post, where each month we answer a question asked by one of our clients.
This month we tackle the issue of what makes a location desirable when searching for the right property.
We know what we need to have in a home, and what neighbourhood amenities we like that would make a given property “right” for us in a day-to-day context. However, as we embark on our property search, it seems that there is much more to consider and much more at stake. While we want to enjoy the quality of life today, we also want to support the growth of our intended home as an investment asset.
What sort of things do we need to consider in our property search to help make that happen?
Today’s Homebuyer Thinking about Tomorrow
Here is our reply:
Dear Thinking about Tomorrow:
It is easy to get swept up in the search for a property that “fits” but truly, purchasing a home to position it as an asset has very little to do with luck; the roots of success are planted in far more pragmatic soil and is linked to whether or not a home bears certain locational and other characteristics.
When it comes to purchasing real estate, many personal factors tend to influence a buyer’s choice of location. These include things like proximity to work, one’s social network, or being near often-used services and amenities, all while working within one’s preferred price perimeters. While meeting your personal criteria can serve you well in enhancing your quality of life, it’s important to weigh out the opportunity and constraints that every given location offers.
Here are our top seven factors that culminate into a Winning Location:
Living the Village Life: In the early days of the Old City of Toronto neighbourhoods were centred around a commercial street that served all of the community’s needs. Today, the city’s urban fabric still contains remnants of these village life streetscapes, each having their own particular amenities or services. Many are gentrifying with cafes, coffee stops and cool urban shops. Locating your property within a five-minute walk of modern-day amenities is a sure way to increase value, especially if it is near a Starbucks - the modern barometer of a demand location!
Public Transit: Living in proximity to public transit is becoming an even more desirable and critical factor in choosing a location. Certainly, being a hop, skip and a jump from the subway, streetcar, train or bus (yet still far enough away, so that noise and pollution are not an intrusion) the greater the likely increase in the value of your residence over time. Even some locations that might be discounted because of their edginess today could rapidly rise into hot neighbourhoods, if they are located on the subway or streetcar lines.
Architectural Cohesiveness: Have you ever walked down a street and noticed how some have a better vibe than others? Chances are, the street you are feeling most comfortable on has buildings that share a similar scale, proportion and height. Contrast this with a street with a mishmash of architectural styles, sizes and housing mix and the result can feel a little jarring. Plain and simple: visual harmony and architectural cohesiveness translate into higher property values.
Good Schools: While not all homeowners need access to good schools for the purpose of use, they do need them to preserve and boost their asset values. The market value of any particular location in our city can be influenced by the reputation of the school serving each District. When it comes to real estate values, where your children get educated can play a big role in a purchasing decision. Keep this in mind when you’re making a family home purchase, regardless of whether or not you have children.
Proximity to Green Space: Being near green space to walk your dog, play with your children and socialize with your community is a huge quality of life enhancement. Look for those with community centres, tennis courts, swimming pools and dog-friendly zones- which are quickly becoming a must-have for urban buyers. You may also be surprised at how many parks host informal community events like Firework Fetes, Halloween pumpkin walks or Outdoor Movie Nights. And many urban parks are also rising destinations for Organic Farmer's Markets and local Art Shows.
Trees: Take a newly constructed suburban street and a one-hundred-year-old urban street, one of the first differences you’ll probably notice is a lacking of mature trees. Truly, mature trees make a residential street more valuable. A canopy of trees lining a street can enhance the value and feeling of a location. By filtering urban pollution, reducing rain run-off, absorbing sound waves, and reducing cooling costs by providing natural shade in the summer, trees also provide a more serene and beautiful place to live. Also, regardless of how many tress there may, or may not be, plant one on the property you purchase. The City needs more trees.
Pride of Ownership or Residency: Regardless of income, ethnicity, status, stage of life or lifestyle, pride of ownership can be ascertained by details. A well-cared-for property, garden or sidewalk can leave a nice first impression. Even friendly people on the street, in a building’s lobby, security desk or on a condominium elevator are cues to the location’s positive vibe. No matter what some might say pride of ownership or residency counts!
At urbaneer.com, we're committed to guiding you through the purchasing process from start to finish. With a comprehensive understanding on Toronto's 42 village-neighbourhoods spanning The Beach west to Bloor West, and from Downtown to Uptown, we understand the merits of the 'Location Location Location' mantra! So if you, or someone in your world, needs the personal guidance of a top producing team, then please know we're here to help. At urbaneer.com, we embrace a pressure-free, hassle-free approach to the purchase and sale of real estate.
Thinking of Selling? Our business is as much about promoting properties for sale as placing buyers! With our comprehensive print ad and direct mail flyer promotions, multi-faceted social media campaigns, and extraordinary level of service, we consistently rank in the Top Ten of Bosley's 225+ sales associates!
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~ Steven and the urbaneer team
earn your trust, then your business