Buying a New Home in a New Community

For buyers looking to find the right home at the right price, the sheer number of things to consider can be downright overwhelming.

And so, it’s no surprise that prospective homeowners often find themselves bogged down by so many small, specific items on the home buyers to-do list, that important issues such as the neighborhood and/or surrounding community, and whether it can offer reasonable access to necessary amenities and institutions, can surprisingly be overlooked or not given the required amount of consideration prior to the purchase of a new home.

While part of the reason behind this is the sheer complexity involved in finalizing the purchase of a home, another, less obvious reason, has to do with how communities, particularly in the GTA, are being developed and built.

With the well-documented real estate boom flooding the market with prospective buyers, the priority for developers not surprisingly, became focused on keeping up with demand, and ultimately cashing in on as many opportunities as quickly and efficiently as possible.

With whole communities seeming to pop up out of the ground virtually overnight, considerations such as proximity to necessary institutions – schools, hospitals, daycare, etc – not to mention reasonable distance to available job opportunities or access to transit for non-drivers, are being overlooked or in some cases, seemingly ignored altogether.

Nowhere is this issue more prevalent than in the GTA, where the rate of development is far surpassing what pre-existing available amenities and institutions can reasonably accommodate.

Not surprisingly, this has created some significant difficulties for new home buyers, many of whom purchased their new properties sight-unseen, relying on glowing real-estate projections and the promise of seemingly unrestrained growth in the GTA housing development market.

These new homeowners are left facing the reality of living in what is, essentially, a community in name only, and is in truth little more than a hastily assembled and largely unplanned collection of houses, where poor access to important community resources/institutions may severely limit future growth in the region, and ultimately devalue their new home/property. This outcome can be especially problematic for first-time home owners and/or families with young, school-age children, where investing in a new home is a potentially life-altering decision both personally and financially, which can have unforeseen consequences now and into the future.

Fortunately, we live in an age of virtually unlimited access to information of all kinds, real estate/community development included.

With even a modest amount of pre-planning and research, prospective home buyers can discover if the proposed “community” in which they are planning to live is in fact, a place worthy of that description, or just another pop-up housing development with limited potential for future growth and/or improvement.