Is house hunting in some of Toronto’s best neighbourhoods in your near future? There are plenty of things to do before you make an offer on your dream home, and research plays a big part in your decision making. Location plays a huge role in both the value of your new home and the quality of your future life in it. Even the most highly rated Toronto neighbourhoods should be looked at carefully to ensure it’s right for you.
If you think you’ve found a bargain, step back, and think twice. Before jumping in with an offer, take some time to visit and check out the neighbourhood you plan to call home — after seeing the following neighborhood problems, you might be glad that you did.
Foreclosed Homes & Vacant Buildings
A neighborhood with streets lined with foreclosed homes and vacant buildings is a major red flag. It’s worth taking a drive through and seeing what condition these homes are in. While you’re there, look at commercial properties to see if businesses, schools, and other facilities have also closed down. A neighbourhood with a lot of vacant buildings and foreclosed homes is not a sign of a growing area and can cause property values to plummet.
Unappealing Curb Appeal in Toronto Neighbourhoods
While visiting your favourite Toronto neighbourhoods, check out the curb appeal of not only your potential home, but of those around it too. A sensible seller will pull out all the stops to make their home seem amazing, so don’t get tunnel vision – make sure you look at the houses around you too. The exterior of a home gives you a good idea as to the people who live there. An unkempt yard littered with garbage and overgrown grass is not a sign of pride and can point to a potentially bad neighbor.
24-Hour Party People
Keep your eyes peeled for party people living next door. The signs are easy to spot if you take time to visit at various times of the day and night. Look for lines of cars parked outside a single home, or a lot of furniture out on the deck — these can point to the dwellings of 24-hour party people, and if you’re their neighbor, that can get tiring very fast.
Problem Pets Mean Problem Neighbours
When visiting a neighborhood, pets are a good indicator of what type of neighbors you might have. If you see pets that look neglected or chained up, you might determine that that neighbor isn’t the kind of person you wish to live near. It’s also worth visiting at night to see if dogs are constantly barking, or strays are scavenging through the trash.
Proximity to City Services
Noise, light pollution, and smells from production facilities can drastically reduce your quality of life and lower the value of a home. It’s unlikely that a listing agent will highlight these things in the description, so it’s essential that you find out what’s on your doorstep. TTC is convenient when it’s close, but you don’t want to be living directly beside a major stop on the line.
Distance from Your Daily Life
You might have found a neighborhood and home that tick all the boxes. But it still might not be the best choice for you. It’s really important to consider how far away you are from things like work, schools, shops, etc. No matter how great your home and neighborhood are, you’ll rarely get to enjoy it if you spend 3 hours commuting each day. Our advice is to make the commute in rush hour before making an offer. Even if you plan to take public transit – give it a shot one day. In the rain. This will show you how it could be, even on the worst of days.
Our best advice when choosing a home is to visit the neighborhood outside of the time when you see the listed house. Spend a Saturday afternoon there – visit the cafes, pubs and parks to see who your neighbours could be. Talk to people! Residents tend to be pretty honest about what they love and what they don’t.
Then check the neighbourhood out again in the evening and in the morning. If you’re going to make the biggest purchase of your life and settle down in one spot, you want to be sure it’s the best for you and your family.
If you want to know more about our top Toronto neighbourhoods, or even some insight on those on the top of your list, simply fill out our form below. We’ll get back to you with our top picks and the reasons why.