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How to choose where to live when buying a new home

“Always pick your yard based on your Summer lifetstyle.”


February 7, 2019 - Karl Yeh

It's really specific to everybody's needs. For some people, it's just purely based on housing style or price point. For others maybe it's proximity,  to work, schools, family and friends, or transportation. It could be what provides them with a sense of belonging, what makes them feel comfortable. People are looking for a place to find friends for themselves and for their kids for years to come.

Not sure where to buy your next home? What are some things to consider when choosing where to live? In this episode, we discuss how to choose where to live when buying a home, key things to look for in a community and how to experience a community/neighbourhood before living in it. We also explore how your finances play a role in choosing where to live. 


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Hi, everyone. Karl here. Welcome to another Homebuyer's School video, a channel where you get the latest strategies, tactics, and tips from home buying experts. Remember, if this is your first time on this channel, and you want to get the latest strategies from the experts, [00:00:30] hit the subscription button below. Hit the little notification bell so you don't miss anything.

Today, I'm joined by Heather Cockerline, Community Experience Lead with Brookfield Residential, and the topic we're going to cover today is how do you choose a place to live, or more specifically,

How to choose the best place to live for you?

Heather Cockerline:            

Well, it's really specific, Karl, to everybody's needs, because everybody has something that they're looking for specifically in a community.

For some people, it's just purely based on housing style or price [00:01:00] point.

For other individuals, maybe it's proximity, so proximity to work, schools, family and friends, or transportation, but what we're noticing is that there's a really big shift to people looking for more stuff that has to do with community. What provides them with a sense of belonging, what makes them feel comfortable.

People are looking for a place to find friends for themselves and for their kids for years to come, so they're really looking for that in their community as well.

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Karl Yeh:            

If you were to [00:01:30] recommend someone who's just beginning their home buying journey and they're looking for the place, or the community, or the neighborhood to live, what would be some of your advice? Just what are some things you'd let them know?

Heather Cockerline:            

Well, I think I would make sure that people understand, what does livability mean to them?

  • Are they concerned about having open spaces to play with their kids?
  • Is it just about being close to work?
  • What are the things that [00:02:00] impact their livability?

Then finding a developer that provides all of those things that touch on livability to make them and their family's lives the best that it possibly can be.

Karl Yeh:            

Have you found that it's usually,

When people are searching for community or neighborhood, is there two or three key things that they should be looking for?

Heather Cockerline:            I guess it depends on the individual. Right?

Karl Yeh:             Yeah.

Heather Cockerline:         

Because it really could, they might [00:02:30] want all aspects of livability, and then there's other people that maybe it's just, like I said, it's just proximity to their friends and family, or just being close to work, or just getting into the market and making sure that there's a home for them and their lifestyle.

How to experience a community or neighborhood before living in it?

Karl Yeh:            

If you were to ask somebody or if somebody were to ask you, "How would I experience a community or neighborhood before actually living in it," how would someone do that?

Heather Cockerline:             

That's a great [00:03:00] question, actually.

I think especially in a community that has a homeowners association, the best advice would be to go there, ask for a free pass, find out what they have to offer, see and feel the energy that's happening in that facility, and take walks through the park, and try and meet neighbors that way.

The other thing is, a lot of times, there's community events that people can, anybody can attend, so that would be a good way as well.

Karl Yeh:            

[00:03:30] Remember, if you want to know more about a homeowner association, watch our video above and below in the description.

It also depends, I guess, on your family situation, so if you're single, it's much different than, let's say, if you have two kids. Right?

Heather Cockerline:             For sure.


Karl Yeh:            

Or where you are in your life, like if you just graduated and you're looking to move out versus someone's like, "Oh, we need to move up our family, or even to downgrade. All my kids have left, and I'm left to myself." Right?

Heather Cockerline:           

Yeah. That's a really good point [00:04:00].

We're finding  that a lot of people now, because of their sense of belonging, they move into a community, and they find the friends for their children, and through that process, maybe a couple become really good friends with another couple in the neighborhood, so they want to keep that connection going forward.

It's just making sure that we have the ability to maybe stay in a community longer than we typically would have before.

And we're seeing, again, another shift where developers are providing [00:04:30] different home styles for all stages of people's lives, so whether it's a condo, or they need to start moving up, and then right down to homes for seniors to live there and to continue thriving in their neighborhood that they feel comfortable in.

Karl Yeh:            

How much does finance actually play a role in choosing your community or where you want to live to?

Heather Cockerline:             

I feel that that's changed, [00:05:00] because in especially master-planned communities, there is a product type for everybody now, so that's the great thing about how Calgary's developing their new communities.

Karl Yeh:            

When you say, "Things have changed," do you mean in the past, communities were just one type of home, not, let's say, it was just all single-family homes, now it's, you have multi-family, you have condos, you have ... Right?

Heather Cockerline:             That's right. Kind of multi-use areas as well, right?

Karl Yeh:             Perfect. Do [00:05:30] you have anything else to add?

Heather Cockerline:             No. I think that's all.

Karl Yeh:            

Perfect. The question of the day for you is:

What influenced your decision to move? What influenced your decision to pick the community or place that you're currently living in?

Let us know in the comment section below, and remember, if you enjoyed this video or found this video helpful, hit the thumbs up button, remember to comment, and remember to subscribe. Thank you, and we'll catch you next time.


Your turn:

Let us know if you have additional home buying questions that we can answer by submitting them in the comments section below. 

Homebuyer's School publishes new content weekly so subscribe or check back regularly for the latest information, strategies and tips from home buying experts.  


About Heather Cockerline:

Heather Cockerline is the Communities Experience Lead at Brookfield Residential.  Heading up a new role in the land development industry, Heather is proud to be working with residents to co-create communities that impact their sense of belonging and overall quality of life.

With over 10 years in the development and home building industry, Heather is using her extensive knowledge of the journey of home building to guide and influence the industry to a more wholistic planning approach that is collaborative, proactive and evidence based; creating a new standard of excellence for North American developers to reimagine and deliver complete communities. 

Heather is a true ‘people person’ with a passion for customer experience.  Seeing happy, healthy, thriving people living their best life possible is what drives her to challenge the status quo, working at all sectors and levels, including the municipal government level, to ensure every resident feels a sense of belonging. 

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