How To Know Which Neighbourhoods Are The Best Match For You And Your Family
Every home search involves some compromises, especially when there are multiple people in the household. It can be really difficult to figure out which compromises are worth making, when every neighbourhood and every home is different.Making an overwhelming process easy
We built the HoodQ Neighbourhood Insights™ quiz after experiencing this ourselves, and hearing from many friends, family, and real estate agents just how challenging this process can be.
Some people go to the extreme and build elaborate spreadsheets comparing how different areas match their wishlists, researching for hours (and hours and hours) to gather information from all over the internet and everyone they know. They can get caught up in analysis paralysis, and struggle to find a home and neighbourhood that they feel confident about.
Other people become too overwhelmed to handle it, choose one or two must-haves, and hope the rest works out. They can experience buyer's remorse, when maybe they discover too late that their commute is terrible, or the local school doesn't have the program they want, or all the parks in the area are too far away.How does Insights™ work?
The Insights™ quiz will ask you to identify key addresses you'd like to be close to (and how close, and how you'll get there), what your preferences are for schools, what your preferences are for parks and recreation options, and what your budget and home preferences are. It will then crunch the data, and return your top matches. The whole quiz only takes about a minute to complete, and the recommendations will save you hours of time.
A major benefit of Insights™ is that on the recommendations page it tells you exactly what matched and didn't match for every neighbourhood. Hopefully you have some results where everything matches if you only have a few criteria, but you can also be as picky as you like and evaluate your results based on your full wishlist. Can't decide between public or Catholic schools? Not sure if you want your kids to go to a Montessori school? Would love to be near a beach, but know that's kind of unlikely? Pick all those options and see what you get. You can always go back and remove some later if you want to refine your matches based on only your highest priorities.Some examples
The Insights™ quiz can find neighbourhoods located between the different places you want to be close to. Say you and your spouse each want a commute of under 30 minutes, with one of you taking transit and the other driving. You also don't want to be more than 45 minutes from your parents' place so that they can see their grandkids often (and you can have a kid-free date night). You can easily enter all of these specific details so that the personalized recommendations are completely tailored to your unique situation.
Each of your recommendations will include if the neighbourhood is under your chosen distance by your chosen commute method for each place specified. If perhaps it's under 30 min commute for you, but, bonus, under 15 for your spouse, it will tell you that too. It'll also tell you if it's not quite 30 minutes, but it is under 45, and you can decide for yourselves if the rest of what the neighbourhood offers makes it worth it.
In another example, perhaps a neighbourhood meets your school criteria except for French Immersion schools, and meets all your other criteria except for tennis courts. You might investigate and decide that regular French and an after-school French program are fine for you, and you can always go a bit further for tennis lessons, or you might decide that's a dealbreaker and look at other recommended neighbourhoods, particularly if several neighbourhoods meet most of your criteria.
Maybe a neighbourhood is perfect in every way - but you can only afford a townhouse or condo there, and not a detached or semi like you'd prefer. Insights™ will tell you that, and you can weigh your options.
You'll still need to do some of your own research, and you should certainly visit the neighbourhoods if you can, but Insights™ should greatly speed up the initial "Where do I even start?!" stage of your home search. You can also check out similar filter options on our CityLife Map™, or dive straight into Neighbourhood Guides™ for each neighbourhood you're now considering.