What Makes an Ideal Neighbourhood for First Time Home Buyers?
While every buyer has their own unique wants and needs in a home, many first-timers share certain things in common. For instance, as many first-time buyers have young children or are planning on having a family in the near future, access to great schools, outdoor community amenities and a safe, quiet atmosphere are popular commodities. Other first-time buyers are single, young professionals who want a fast commute and are looking for a secure investment. As a buyer, the perfect neighbourhood for you will be the one that fits you best.
In BC we often get the question: Where should I purchase my first home? Since prices in some areas feel harder to reach than others. I tend to remind the first time home buyer this isn’t a forever home for you hopefully. We want to get you into a growing neighbourhood so that in 3-5 years you can sell it and earn a bit of profit for your next purchase. With that being said though you will likely have to live in your home for the next 3-5 years so you want to like the area you live in as well. When we are out shopping I always tell my buyers to spend time in the neighbourhoods they are looking in. If that means going for coffee, finding new restaurants or even just going for a walk and seeing what parks are around.
Where to Start
If you’re about to begin your first home-buying journey, start with an experienced local real estate agent. As an expert, a well-rounded agent can help you get the most out of your first home without going over your budget. They can also help you target desired neighbourhoods, or introduce you to new areas that may make a great fit.
East Central, Maple Ridge
Maple Ridge is one of the fastest growing cities in the Lower Mainland. You can still be close to the city with an easy commute into Vancouver via the West Coast Express or by car. Maple Ridge has tons of development happening especially in the cities center. As the city grows more over the next 5-10 years, your purchase in East Central will go up in value allowing you to increase profit when selling. You do want to make sure it is a good building that doesn’t need a ton of work.
Mission is also another one of the fastest growing cities in the lower mainland right now. Although Mission is a bit farther out it does offer the West Coast Express and growing community. With all the new development happening too the city center you will likely be walking distance to many amenities such as movie theatre’s, restaurants and community centers. For first time home buyers Missions home prices fit lower budgets. These homes are a bit larger than you would get closer into the city allowing you to have more space.
If you haven’t already noticed a trend, these cities are all growing in the heart of the city. This allows you to be walking distance to everything as the city grows around you. Central Abbotsford has been over looked for sometime now and might not have the greatest reputation in some peoples minds. Central Abbotsford has seen prices increase over the past 2-3 years but is still affordable for most first time home buyers. There are a lot of age restricted buildings across the city center but there are some really good gems to be found in Central Abbotsford. With the proximity to the highway you could be close to major cities like Langley, Surrey and Coquitlam. Central Abbotsford is still growing and will likely see a facelift to the downtown as the population grows over the next 5 years.
Last but certainly not less, Langley city. As most of us know Langley has been home to some of the most development over the past 10 years. Surprisingly enough it is still growing and the most affordable places right now are Langley City and Aldergrove. The reason I would choose Langley City is because of its approximately to everything. With the new skytrain line coming Langley this will be an even more desirable area if you can afford it now. You may not love the time it takes you to get to highway 1 sometimes but in the next 3-5 years it will be worth it. I’ve heard a lot of larger corporations such as Amazon are moving offices to Langley as Vancouver has become unaffordable to house their employees. Langley will be the next big city situated in-between Kelowna and Vancouver.
This is a big important decision so make sure you have an expert realtor like myself who cares about your future. It may take time to find the right home for you but it will be worth it. If you are thinking about purchasing and don’t know where to start send us a message or take a look at our other blog posts for first time home buyers.
It is so important to us that you feel empowered and educated throughout the buying and selling process – if you have questions or would like to know more about another area in the lower mainland, give us a call, text, or email with any questions you have! We can answer all of your questions, and give you specific tips related to the strata, buildings, and more. We’re here to help.