Whether seeking solace, activity, schools, churches, or green space, every homebuyer looks for a different combination of attributes in a new community.  Choosing a neighbourhood that suits your needs and wants is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in the home-buying process; your choice of environment will affect the way you experience your new home.

This is a very personal decision, influenced by countless unique factors colouring your own lives, but you should always keep the following in mind: 


1. If you’re considering buying a home in a community that is unfamiliar to you, get to know its lay-out, offerings, and ambiance. Take some time to walk or drive through the neighbourhood, both during the day and at night, familiarizing yourself with the sights, sounds, and smells.


2. What amenities does the neighbourhood have to offer? Is public transportation readily accessible? Are there schools, churches, parks, or grocery stores within reach? Consider visiting schools in the area if you have children.


3. What is the nature of the job market in the area? Keep in mind that if area employers are producing more jobs, you can expect property values to increase, especially if the jobs offered fall within a higher salary bracket.


4. Speak with the neighbours. Ask questions. They can offer you a wealth of information, from an inside perspective.


5. How will you be affected by a new commute to work? Drive the route between the new neighbourhood and your office during the appropriate times to gauge the volume of traffic you could expect to encounter, and the amount of time you’d need to put aside for daily travel.


6. Contact local land-use and zoning officials to determine existing development plans or potential for development in the area. A strong agenda for neighbourhood planning and local zoning will increase the value and draw of a neighbourhood. Keep in mind that any large, tree-covered area may be a target for future development in popular communities.


7. Determine whether financial resources have been put in place to support infrastructure projects in the area. These construction projects might include building, replacing, or improving anything from schools to roads, and are usually part of a city or town’s long-term plan. While disruptive, construction could also be a benefit to your experience of a community, influencing the long-term value of the area.


Hope this helps in the process if you finding your new home. Happy house hunting! 

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It’s official:  you’ve signed the papers, dotted all the i’s and crossed the t’s—you own a new home!  You’ve almost reached the end of your journey.  However, now, faced with the daunting task of moving, it may seem as though the journey has just begun.  Moving can be a time-consuming and stressful experience if you let yourself be overwhelmed by the job.  Remember, though, having a successful move means taking care of the details, one by one.  If you break the process down into steps and arrange your time accordingly, you can make it manageable.  Use the following checklist to ensure you’re covering all the bases, and you will be well on your way to a successful move!


Household

• Arrange to have your mail forwarded to your new address.
• Forward or cease all deliveries to your home, and forward or cancel newspaper and magazine subscriptions.
• Disconnect or take care of utility, cable and phone services and accounts.
• Arrange for utilities to be connected at your new house.
• Cancel pre-authorized bill payments.
• Begin going through closets and discarding any unnecessary items.


Packing

• Plan your packing. Start by purchasing or acquiring suitable containers. Most moving companies have specialized containers you can buy. Also, speak with others who have recently moved—they may be looking to get rid of boxes. You’ll need the following: small boxes for heavy items (books, tools, etc.); large boxes for bulky items (bedding, stuffed toys, etc.); medium boxes for bulky but less heavy items (towels, small appliances, etc.).
• Begin to collect other packing materials. Decide which items you’ll need from the following checklist:
         - White paper
         - Tissue paper
         - Paper towels
         - Newspapers
         - Non-printed paper
         - Packing tape or twine to seal boxes and containers
         - Scissors
         - Labels and stickers (available from your moving company)
         - Felt marker to label boxes
         - Notebook and pen for listing contents
• Set goals and deadlines for yourself. Aim, for example, to pack one room per week.
• Attach a list of contents to each box. Separate and label boxes to be placed in storage.
• Consider holding a garage sale to rid yourself of excess belongings.

• Begin to use up the food in your pantry and freezer. Let the food you already have dictate your menus.
• Have rugs cleaned that are to be moved, then roll and wrap them.
• Make special arrangements for the moving of plants or pets.
• Collect all personal items from local services (dry cleaning, storage, photos).
• Service all appliances you are taking with you. Note that all gas appliances must be emptied, as it is illegal for movers to carry flammable substances.
• Take inventory of all the boxes, and contents of the boxes, you have packed.
• Have your car serviced and tuned up.


Community:

• Determine (if needed) how to transfer your children to a new school.
• Return items you’ve borrowed to friends, and collect any you’ve lent.
• Mail or e-mail change of address notices to family members, friends, and office contacts.

 

Records:

• If needed, transfer medical and dental records, and fill prescriptions.

• Contact Canada Post to redirect your mail temporary.
• Change the address on your driver’s license.
• Change the billing address for credit cards.
• Change the address for banking statements.

• Leave a record of security codes for new tenants.


Insurance & Legal Matters:

• Visit your lawyer and ensure all documents are signed.
• Notify your insurance company well in advance of the move and ask them to review your policy.
• Transfer insurance to your new home, or acquire new insurance.
• Review your moving company’s insurance policy. If it doesn’t cover as much as you’d like it to, obtain your own.
• If you are currently renting a house or apartment, give written notice to the landlord.
• Have all keys to your old home delivered to your lawyer or realtor.



As stressful as the moving process can be, try to make it a positive one! 

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