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4 Red Flags to Watch For When Buying a Home in a New Neighbourhood

Updated: Jun 21, 2022

If you’re looking to relocate, you’ve probably thought about everything you want for your new home. However, keep in mind that when you’re buying in a new neighbourhood, it’s all about location, location, location. You CAN change and renovate your home, but you cannot change where your home is located- so keep reading to learn about the 4 Red Flags to watch for when you are checking out a new neighbourhood to move to.

Flag 1: The local schools are enrolling fewer kids. There are a number of reasons why enrollment might decrease at the local schools. A school may have a reputation for poor management, causing parents to choose private school options. Or perhaps residents are staying as their kids have grown up, leading to older neighbours and fewer close-by friends for your kids. That may or may not be a deal-breaker, but it’s certainly something to consider if you do have children.

For example, they closed 3 rural schools in Dunnville and built a brand new one in-town to accommodate more kids. This change would include a longer bus ride for your child if you moved to a rural home in the area. Just something to know and be aware of, as it would affect your family’s day-to-day schedules.

Flag 2: Watch out for Industrial or undesired commercial zoning nearby.

Be mindful of any kind of commercial influence on the block, such as nearby gas stations or anything else that could be harmful health-wise, like nearby industrial plants- these should automatically nix out a neighbourhood. Also, I would advise to think long and hard before buying across from a car dealership or auto body shop because they attract a lot of traffic.

Some other examples:

- In our area, there is a rock quarry, and when they use dynamite it is very loud and rumbly. - On the North Side of the Grand River, there are still some train tracks that are used often, so be prepared for the sounds of trains and train whistles.

Flag 3: There are a lot of empty storefronts close by. Empty storefronts can mean that there is less disposable income for residents in that area than there clearly once was. This can indicate that the neighbourhood is on a decline.

If homeowners don’t have money for small shops or dining out, they probably don’t have the money to upkeep their homes either. Run-down homes will decrease property values for other homes in the area too, and if it leads to future foreclosures—nobody wants a foreclosed-upon home as a neighbour. This may or may not be a big deal, because we do know that the pandemic did close some small shops, but already, new shops are moving in. Just something to consider while looking around.

Flag 4: There is no parking.

If your driveway is only so big, and you are not allowed to park on the street, what are your other options? Winter parking rules may be different too, I would recommend researching your parking options before making any decisions.

Good thing this isn’t a huge deal here in Dunnville because there are very few restrictions to parking, even with parking RVs, boats or campers! It is so nice to have easy parking access to your home and property, especially if you have some big or fun vehicles to park safely.

As you can tell, these 4 Flags have nothing to do with the home you’re choosing, but everything to do with location and surrounding area. This is the reason why us realtors say location is key. You can change your home, but you can’t change where it is!

Thinking of relocating? Send me an email:

or Phone 1-905-229-9500



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