The word community can mean different things to different people. It can simply be a name to define a certain geographical area or neighbourhood, or it can mean a lot more. For many people, finding the right community is much more than location; it’s finding a neighbourhood with like minded people, amenities of interest, or even just a place that feels like home! Everyone is different and there are many factors that affect our sense of community; this is why the City of Ottawa has so many distinct areas. It is important to consider community in your home search and here are some tips to help you do just that.
Ask your Realtor® for the Demographics
Your Realtor® has access to the demographic information for any neighbourhood in the city. This is especially useful if you are looking to live in an area with people of your own age and stage in life. For example, if you are looking for a home to raise your children, being in a neighbourhood with lots of kids is likely a priority for you so that your children have playmates close by. But it’s not just for families, some neighbourhoods are geared more towards seniors or different age groups. While this information is not definitive, it can certainly provide you with more insight than a map.
Join the Neighbourhood Social Media Groups
Almost every neighbourhood has a social media group of some sort and they can provide great insight into the type of community it truly is. While these pages may only provide a snapshot, you can get a sense of what the local issues are and how neighbours support each other to deal with them. If you want, ask a question about the community but be warned, most people love where they live so the responses may be a little biased.
Take a Stroll
If you want to get a true sense of any neighbourhood, it is often best to immerse yourself in it. Park your car and take a stroll around to see what kind of place it really is. Make sure to include a walk down streets of interest, check out local parks, and stop by local businesses. As you’re walking, are people friendly or do they keep to themselves? Depending on your personality either may be a plus or minus. Are you comfortable in the neighbourhood and could you see yourself living there?
Check Out Organizations
Depending on what you are looking for, community organizations may be of interest to you. Whether you’d like to get directly involved in organizing events and fundraisers (most of these groups are run by volunteers) or you are just looking for an area with lots of things to do, an active organization can make or break a community.
What Else Does the Community Offer?
Check out the local businesses and amenities in the neighbourhood; it’s important that you find things that match your interests. This can be anything from a yoga studio to walking trails to art galleries. Not all neighbourhoods have the same amenities but if the neighbourhood is home to a specific business or location that fits your personal interests, you are likely to find like minded people in the area as well.
At Royal LePage Team Realty, our team of Realtors® live and work in the great communities that our city has to offer. If you are looking for assistance in finding the community that is right for you, we are here to help. Give us a call, we would love to grab a coffee and help you in the search for your perfect home.