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May 14, 2021

Canadians are sold on safe neighbourhoods

1302218_50183007When it comes to buying a new home, the majority of Canadians are sold on safe neighburhoods.

There's a lot to consider when looking for a new home besides the price and the features it has to offer.

In fact, a safe neighbourhood is the big sell for homebuyers, according to a survey by BMO Bank of Montreal.

Sixty-three per cent of those polled said the safety of the neighbourhood is the most important aspect of a home's location; followed by having good neighbours (30 per cent); a short commute to work (28 per cent); and being close to family and friends (25 per cent).

As Realtors always say: Location, location, location.

Laura Parsons, mortgage expert, BMO Bank of Montreal, says, "Everyone has a unique set of personal and financial priorities, so it's important that those particular needs are considered when deciding on the right location to purchase a home.

"Taking a practical approach to home buying is the key to preventing yourself from getting 'swept away' by the bells and whistles of a house. Homebuyers should make a list of needs versus wants and prioritize them in order of highest to lowest importance."

Location was important when we bought our home way back in 1989. Our house was close to schools, shopping, banks, churches, transit and the highway for an easy commute to work.

Today's homebuyers are looking for the perfect home that has everything to do with location and has all the amenities in place.

The survey also discovered that first-time buyers were more likely than repeat buyers to consider the commute to work, public transit, stores and restaurants when purchasing a home.

Those priorities vary, according to the survey, depending on which province the homebuyers hail from. For instance, a safe neighbourhood was more important to first-time homebuyers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan (73 per cent); followed by the Atlantic provinces (71 per cent); Alberta (67 per cent); British Columbia (63 per cent); Ontario (63 per cent); and Quebec (55 per cent).

Location is definitely an important factor when looking for a new home. But before you begin shopping for a new house it is important to do your research, get pre-approved for a mortgage so that you know how much house you can qualify for, and even though you may qualify for a substantial amount -- only buy what you can afford.

By Donna Donaldson, MSN Money

Do you feel that location and, more specifically, a safe neighbourhood is important when buying a new home?



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...