What makes a good neighbourhood?

There’s an old saying that ‘the three most important things in real estate are location, location, location. But what makes one community more desirable than another? Often, it’s the visible aspects of the neighbourhood such as pride of ownership in well maintained houses and clean, tree-lined streets. Sometimes it’s the intangibles: a look or feeling you get while driving down a street. When you’re house hunting, it’s important to remember that when you buy a home you’re also buying the neighbourhood.

Your home is probably the single largest investment you’ll ever make. So, it’s wise to buy in an area that is stable and has a good reputation. A community’s reputation is based on many factors, including close proximity to a thriving economic centre. Look for good schools and easy access to public facilities such as libraries, parks and recreation centres. Also consider commute time: how long will it take you to get to work? Remember not to make that decision based on how long it takes to make the drive to view the house, but actually during rush hour. Are you the type of person who doesn’t mind an hour’s drive each way to work? Or do you prefer to take public transit?

Before you purchase a home, it’s a good idea to check with the planning and zoning departments at city hall for proposed developments in the area. If you’re looking for a quiet area away from the hustle and bustle, you’ll want to know if there’s a proposed shopping mall going in at the corner. Or could there be an office tower slated to back up against your backyard?

The resale potential of the neighbourhood is important too. Your Coldwell Banker Pinnacle Real Estate sales representative can create a report for you, showing the properties listed and sold in the area, and discuss the potential for appreciation in property values.

Try to get a sense of the community before you move in. Make several trips to the area you’re considering. Visit on different days of the week at different times of the day and night. Do you like what you see? Do you feel comfortable? Talk to residents—they are a wealth of knowledge about the area amenities and the community spirit. Read a few issues of the local newspaper to get up to date on current initiatives and developments. You might even want to visit the local library or community center to get an overview of what’s going on in the area.

You can rely on your Coldwell Banker Pinnacle Real Estate sales representative to be a fountain of information too. Then, when it comes time to buy your first house, you’ll choose a community where you’ll feel right at home.

GIVING BACK TO OUR COMMUNITY!

Last week Ann talked a little about the community of organized real estate. I would like to express how proud we are to be part of this community of REALTORS® that help people realize the dream of home ownership. We are even more proud of how our fellow REALTORS® give back to the communities where they live and work and other communities that may need their help.

Let me give you an idea of some of the ways we REALTORS® support communities across the country.

In 2012 REALTORS® donated more than 30 MILLION DOLLARS nationwide to various local charities and housing initiatives. Just this past summer REALTORS® donated over $200,000 to help the flood victims in the Calgary area.

On the local scene the REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington have donated, to date, over $700,000 to the CHML/Y108 Children’s Fund. Each year our local association conducts the REALTORS® Annual Charity Auction to raise funds for this worthwhile charity.

On a more personal level, we at Coldwell Banker Pinnacle Real Estate adopt families during the holiday season providing them with food baskets and gifts to those in need. Since 2009 we have adopted 30 families with over 100 children. Staff and sales reps alike donate their time and money to shop, wrap, and distribute food and gifts to the families. Our offices are just a hive of activity during the holiday season.

I have touched on a few of the good deeds performed by REALTORS® but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the individual activities of REALTORS® such as donating blood, volunteering at schools and hospitals, driving cancer patients to appointments, delivering Meals on Wheels to name but a few.

Are we proud to be part of the REALTORS’® community? Absolutely! So the next time you see your REALTOR® give them a big THANK YOU!

 

What is a Community?

You are part of a community, but what are you really part of?

We often talk about what is happening in our community, but I thought I would veer off and discuss just what makes us a community.

There are many levels to consider. For example, as REALTORS® we are part of the organized real estate community, which by the very MLS® rules we all agreed to abide by, make us part of a community of individuals working co-operatively to enable property owners and buyers to come together. We all work under the same guidelines, and have access to the same resources, through our local associations, our provincial associations and our national association. As part of this community, I can strongly recommend becoming involved in volunteering for these bodies, as you will gain a new respect for what they are trying to do on your behalf, and at the same time you will have a voice in how decisions are made that affect your business.

Another community level is within your business. At Coldwell Banker Pinnacle Real Estate we have a great community of individuals, who work together to help our clients, but also who work year round to help others in the Hamilton-Burlington area, through volunteering their time. Also, we work year round raising funds to help people in our area at the holiday season.

And the community that we all think of first is of course our geographic community, for me in particular the Hamilton-Burlington area, and in particular Ancaster, where I live. This is the community of like minded individuals who want the same services and enjoyment of what the area has to offer. This level of community likely has the greatest affect on your decision of where you want to live, and to REALTORS® is very important in helping people decide where they want to buy a home and raise their family.

We are very fortunate in the Hamilton area, as we benefit from a strong commitment to providing for our residents from our various levels of government. Our school systems are great, we have a comprehensive sports program for our youth, and also a strong support for seniors in the community.

Just think, all that and we have a great line up of events within our community, whether it be festivals, conservation area events, art festivals, theatre…the list is endless. We are very fortunate to be part of all these levels of community.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE COMMUNITY?

Every once in a while Ann and I talk about what’s going on in our community. Well, this weekend we have one of the great summer festivals happening. The Locke Street Festival takes place this Saturday, September 7th from 10AM until 9PM.

Something that I find interesting this year is the festival is featuring the music of Westdale High School. If you didn’t already know, Westdale High has a great history when it comes to Rock and Roll music. Groups such as Teenage Head and Harlan Pepper had their roots at Westdale.

While you are exploring at the Locke Street Festival be sure visit all the unique shops on the street. They range from antiques to gifts to spas and more. You won’t be disappointed.

One more thing I would like to remind you about is the FOOD!! It is impossible to go hungry on Locke Street. There are great places to eat on both sides of the street from end to end. There is fine dining, pub and diner style food, gourmet burgers and pizza, just to name a few.

So if you have never been to the Locke Street Festival before and you don’t have anything planned for Saturday then I highly recommend you check it out. You won’t be disappointed!!