How to Find the Perfect Edmonton Community
Moving into a brand-new home isn’t just about the home itself – the community you live in is just as important. You don’t want to move into your dream home, only to find yourself underwhelmed every time you step outside of it. Since you’ll ideally be planning to live in your new home for many years, choosing a community to live in shouldn’t be a decision you rush through.
These tips will help you break down what to focus on in the deciding process to make it easier for you to select the community that best serves your family’s needs.
Focus on Family First
If you have kids, you want them to grow up in a neighbourhood with plenty of friends. Different communities tend to attract a particular type of family. Families with young children especially tend to be looking for more affordable homes.
Sterling’s latest Evolve line of homes fits this bill. We’ve designed a way to offer customers the same high quality they’d expect in any of Sterling’s homes with an affordable price point. These are available only in select communities, so ask which ones currently qualify.
Springate in Spruce Grove focuses only on front-attached homes and duplex style homes, so you tend to get families with upper-elementary age children who have decided to live outside the hustle and bustle of city life. This is a great choice for those who want their kids to find lifelong friends.
Many families, though, like to put down roots in a mixed environment with kids of all ages. You could get that in a community like Cavanagh, which has a range of different home styles.
Consider Your Needs
Think objectively about the things you absolutely need in your neighbourhood – a priority might be a good school, for example, or a safe place to live, but what does that mean to you specifically?
Some people might base their concept of good schools on reputation and test scores, while others might be focused on finding the newest school with the latest resources. To some, safety might mean being able to leave on an extended vacation without worrying about break-ins, whereas for others it might be more about the feeling of day-to-day safety.
Carefully considering these details can lead you to a particular community. Manning Village, for instance, has a pond with trails where your children can safely ride their bikes without fear of cars. Many of the lots currently available are next to the playground, tobogganing hill, and dog park. And in McConachie Heights, your kids could go to a brand-new school.
What About Amenities?
Aside from the absolute necessities, you’ll also want a home that’s close to all the luxuries and amenities your family needs. All of Sterling’s communities are convenient to shopping, but you’ll find a different selection in each one. Langdale, for instance, is in the Windermere community, so you’ll be able to easily reach the Currents of Windermere shopping centre.
Edgemont East, on the other hand, is close to both Currents of Windermere and West Edmonton Mall. Other families might value proximity to nature, which you’ll find in the Westerra community in Stony Plain. It’s surrounded by more than nine hectares of environmental preserves. And in Desrochers , you’ll find an 11-acre forest in the community. Builders even consulted with a professional ecologist to minimize any harm that building could do to the forest.
Factor in Your Home Style Choice
We just touched on this in the previous section, but no matter what type of home you prefer, you need to find a community that allows that style. Some communities only allow townhomes, while other communities have a focus on laned homes.
Community guidelines decide how the exterior of the homes can look, so if you have a strong architectural preference, you should look for a neighbourhood that offers that look. Our New Home Advisors can help you navigate your choices.
Take a Walk Around
You can’t really get a good sense of the “feel” of a neighbourhood through the windows of your car as you drive by. You have to get out and walk around a bit. Have your kids play in the neighbourhood playground, and note whether the families there were welcoming or not. Does the neighbourhood seem quiet or lively, and does that fit in with your preferences?
Obviously, it’s impossible to walk around every neighbourhood in Edmonton, so you should only do this with a few neighbourhoods after you’ve narrowed down your choices. This may be the one thing that actually helps you make your decision!
Crunch the Numbers
Finally, you need to take a look at the cost to your family. In addition to the price of your home, you’ll also be paying for the lot. Larger lots in desirable communities tend to cost more. Are you willing to pay that price? Would you have to make sacrifices to the interior design to make it more affordable?
Additionally, property taxes might vary from community to community. Don’t forget to include those in your calculations. In general, “bedroom communities” – those that are slightly outside of the city limits but still conveniently located – tend to have larger lots with affordable prices and lower taxes. These may be the best choice for cost-conscious families.
There’s a community out there that’s perfect for your family. You simply have to think carefully about all of your options to choose the one that best meets your needs.
Originally published July 2, 2018, updated March 17, 2020.