A home is more than just four walls and a ceiling

When you buy a home, you are buying a living environment that extends beyond the limits of your property. This environment includes all the services, businesses, neighbouring homes, schools and public spaces that surround you. It even includes streets, parks and power lines!

That?s why it is important to consider what is outside the home as much as what is inside it. Do you want to be located next to the industrial area where you will be working? Do you want to be conveniently located next to a major highway? But what about the noise and pollution that come with them? Perhaps you like the convenience of being close to a school, shopping mall or good restaurants. But how close is too close?

Sometimes you can be close to these conveniences but still find ways to have privacy and tranquility. Having large, mature trees on your property is one way to block out noise. It?s also worth learning about the habits of your future neighbours. Perhaps one of them is an avid motorcyclist or handyman who likes to do his thing at the crack of dawn.

If you have children, you will probably want your home to be near a school, public park or daycare. You might also want to be located near public transportation with ample parking space if you have to commute to work each day. Other nearby services you may want to look for include a police station and fire hall, which will lower the cost of home insurance.

So before making a bid on a home, take a good look at what surrounds it. You might even want to visit the area at different times of the day in order to get an earful of what types of noise and activity are typical for the area.