While we often focus on the right home for our needs, the right neighbourhood can be just as important.
Do you value walkability, for example, or do you prefer a rural setting? Do you need access to schools or is shopping and dining more important?
Greater Victoria is a diverse region where each neighbourhood has its own unique qualities, so how do you choose? Here are 5 thing to consider:
Neighbourhood style – Downtown Victoria is a bustling community of boutiques, restaurants, art galleries and attractions. If you happen to work downtown too, your commute is minimal and you have lots of time to make the most of a hip, urban lifestyle. At the same time, you’re probably looking at condo life, rather than a single-family home, unless you expand your reach into adjacent neighbourhoods like James Bay or Vic West.
If tree-lined streets, character homes and gardens speak to your sensibilities, communities like Oak Bay, Fairfield and Rockland may be more appropriate, but those amenities come with an added price point. Consider localized regulations as well – some areas have rules about parking boats or recreational vehicles, for instance.
Commute and walk score – If you live in communities like the West Shore or Sidney and work in town, you’ll have a longer commute than if you live in the core. However, if the more rural or suburban qualities of those neighbourhoods appeal and you still need to work in town, consider whether you can adjust your hours to mitigate your time in the car or bus. If walkability is important to you, look for a neighbourhood where you can walk to amenities like parks, recreation, shopping and dining – villages like Oak Bay, James Bay, Fairfield, Sidney, Saanichton and the Langford core are ideal for this.
Demographics – Is a quiet, established neighbourhood with amenities and resources for seniors important, for example, or would you prefer an area popular with young families where lemonade stands and street hockey games are close at hand? A fun, funky vibe – think Fernwood! – or mixed community of single-family homes, townhouses and condominiums that attract a wide cross-section of residents?
Schools – If you have young children, consider the proximity of schools, access to sidewalks, bike paths and bus routes. For older children, do you want a school with a certain speciality, like sports or the arts? If you plan to stay in your home for many years, do you want access to all levels of schools? In neighbourhoods like Colwood, Saanich and Oak Bay, preschool to post-secondary are close at hand.
Recreation facilities and parks – Do you value outdoor pursuits and long dog walks through the forest? Access to a gym, cycling routes or pickleball courts? If so, do you want them on your doorstep or is a short drive OK?
Just as you evaluate your must-haves, wants and deal-breakers when it comes to a prospective home, the importance you give your neighbourhood needs and wants will help determine which community is right for you!
Learn more about the neighbourhoods in your community and choosing the right one for you at madsenlanglois.com/victoria-community-blog/posts/choosing-a-victoria-neighbourhood
Contact realtors Niels Madsen and David Langlois at Madsen Langlois today to see how they can help you achieve better outcomes in all things real estate!