7 Things to Consider When Choosing a New Community
There are a lot of factors to think about when you’re planning to build a brand-new home, but one of the very first things to figure out is where you’re going to build it. The way we see it, choosing a community to live in is just as important as choosing what style and size of house you want.
At Genesis Land, we know, very well, that living in a neighbourhood that meets your lifestyle needs and preferences can make a huge, positive impact on your day-to-day comfort and happiness. Here, we’ve compiled a list of seven key things to keep in mind while searching for a community that’s right for you and your family.
If your job requires you to work on-site on a regular basis, be sure to test out how long it takes you to get there from the neighbourhood you’re interested in. Remember to try the commute at rush hour — if you check it out during low-traffic times, you won’t be getting a realistic sense of just how long the drive could take on a typical workday.
For daily commuters, living in an area that has easy access to major thoroughfares can be immensely helpful. Genesis Land’s communities all offer quick access to Calgary and Airdrie’s key roadways.
Proximity to schools
If you have kids, or you plan on having kids, local school districts should be on your list of things to consider. Take time to research the quality of the school(s) in the community you’re looking at: talk to parents who have kids attending the neighbourhood school, ask for a tour of the school, or try to attend a PTA meeting for more insight.
Choosing a community where your kids can learn, grow and thrive at a school that’s relatively close to home will be good for your whole family. Most likely, both you and your kids will develop friendships with fellow students and their parents, ultimately leading to a stronger sense of cohesion within the neighbourhood.
Of course, even if you don’t have kids, living in an area with good schools is still a smart investment, because future buyers may have school-aged children.
Think about your interests and hobbies and make sure to take these pastimes into account when researching neighbourhoods. For example, if you and your family live an active lifestyle and like going for bike rides or spending time outdoors, opt for a community with ample greenspace and expansive trail networks to enjoy.
Or, if you and your kids enjoy spending time at swimming pools or skating rinks on a regular basis, then finding for a neighbourhood that has easy access to recreation facilities — such as the Genesis Place Recreation Centre in Airdrie or the Genesis Centre in northeast Calgary — would be optimal.
Access to local businesses and shops
Living close to the businesses and services you tend to frequent can make a world of difference when it comes to saving time in a busy day. As you’re perusing potential neighbourhoods to live in, be sure to keep in mind how far each one is from grocery stores, shopping centres, gyms, coffee shops, gas stations and any other services you make use of on a regular basis.
Of course, not all these amenities need to be steps away from your home, but having them close-by is helpful. In Genesis Land communities, most day-to-day amenities are just a short drive or convenient walk away.
In essence, the term walkability refers to how friendly an area is for pedestrians. If you like an active lifestyle and enjoy getting around on foot, or if you have a dog that needs walking, then things like well-kept sidewalks and pathways, proper crosswalks in busy roadways and close proximity to various businesses and amenities (such as coffee shops, convenience stores or even dog parks) will be important factors for you.
The ability to safely walk around your neighbourhood will not only inspire you to stay active, it will also help you to build stronger connections with your neighbours as you meet and mingle with other people from the community who are out and about on foot.
For most homebuyers, safety is a huge consideration when choosing the right neighbourhood. Safety is a priority for our team at Genesis Land, too. That’s why our communities are carefully designed to enhance security and dissuade criminal activity through features like well-lit streets and parks, good sightlines from public and private buildings, and ample gathering places that inspire residents to get outside and meet their neighbours.
Keep in mind that communities with active, engaged residents who know one another, make use of the local amenities and take part in neighbourhood activities all tend to have lower crime rates than communities without these attributes.
Pride of place
Take the time to really explore the communities you’re interested in. While you’re out walking or driving along the local sidewalks or streets, pay attention to whether the homes and lawns in the area are well-maintained, watch for how neighbours interact with one another, and check out the buzz at local shops, businesses and facilities.
When neighbours care about their properties and take an active part in maintaining and supporting their community, they help to make the area a better place to live for everyone.