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  • Writer's pictureTeam Pinto

What Makes a Great Neighbourhood to Buy In?

When you’re in the market for a new place to live, it helps to remember the golden rule of real estate: You’re not just buying a home — you are also becoming part of a neighbourhood.

All neighbourhoods are not created equal, and there’s no such thing as the perfect neighbourhood; everyone has different needs and desires.

However, there are components common to all great neighbourhoods. As you evaluate the best aspects of a prospective neighbourhood, you’ll want to match them to your daily needs. Here are some tips for doing just that, as well as a look at why the Waterloo Region ticks so many boxes on any checklist of great places to live!

Lifestyle match

Is the neighbourhood in sync with your current lifestyle? Homebuyers tend to gravitate to areas with similar demographics. Just as a fantastic suburban neighbourhood in a gated community may not be right for a young single professional, a family with three small children might not find a small condo in a hip downtown neighbourhood to be the best fit for their lifestyle.

One of the great things about living in the Waterloo Region is that there are neighbourhoods that suit everyone. We have the spacious, backs onto greenery family homes that are so appealing to people with kids, but we also have the hip condos located in vital, bustling spots that those looking for a livelier life will love.

Pride in ownership

Pride in ownership is obvious when the residents maintain their homes and care about their neighbourhood. Neighbours connect and create local groups that bring the residents together for the betterment of the area. You can usually see this when driving - or walking - through a neighbourhood, and there are lots of great examples to be seen in the Waterloo Region.

Low crime rate

Low crime rates give a neighbourhood a sense of ease and calm. Crime rates are a quick way to tell if a neighbourhood is improving or not, since everyone is concerned with safety and security. You can usually spot a transitional and improving neighbourhood by the improvement in its crime rates.

Great schools

For homeowners with children, great schools top the list of what makes a great neighbourhood. Not only are great schools important for families with children, but they also make the surrounding neighbourhoods more valuable and more sought after, keeping property values strong.

The Waterloo Region boasts some excellent schools - both public and private, and is also home to several world-class universities. Especially the University of Waterloo (although we might be a tiny bit biased, as that is Aron's alma mater!)

Outdoor activities abound

Being close to the outdoor adventures you love can sweeten the appeal of your neighbourhood. This has become even more apparent over the last year, with so many indoor facilities having been closed during the pandemic.

Being close (or within a reasonable drive) to places to walk, jog, sail, fish or pedal can keep you in love with your home. Proximity and access to tennis courts, neighbourhood swim clubs, and golf courses are also qualities that keep your neighbourhood on par.

We are hugely lucky here in the Waterloo Region to have access to some of the best outdoor recreation opportunities in the whole of Ontario. There's a good reason some folks from Toronto and other big cities choose to vacation here - with an increasing number making it their full time home post pandemic - if you love the outdoors, there is just so much to do!

Stepping back in time

There’s something about an area with history that makes it very desirable. Tree-lined streets give neighbourhoods a charming, older, and established feel. These neighbourhoods are also usually very stable, with long-time residents and community support, which also helps encourage safety and low crime rates.

In the Waterloo Region, our historic properties and neighbourhoods are inheritances that give us a sense of place, community and personal identity. They also help define our regional identity and enhance our community's quality of life.

Access to medical care

Being close enough to get to a hospital or doctor’s office quickly is key for many people, especially for seniors, retirees, and families with young children.


Neighbourhoods where plenty of families live are a real draw for buyers with children. There are more opportunities for children to play, socialize, and make lifelong friends. Carpooling groups and other children’s programs are much more accessible when the neighbourhood is overflowing with kiddos.

Close to public transportation

Easy access to public transportation is a fantastic plus for a neighbourhood and an amenity for almost any lifestyle. From a commuting millennial to a retiree who wishes to keep the car at home, public transit is a solid upgrade to any neighbourhood.

Nearby shopping and restaurants

If you want to join the hustle and bustle (and don’t want to cook dinner every night), having great restaurants, shopping, and markets in close proximity is a must!

The Waterloo Region is a food - and beverage - lover's delight. Home to dozens and dozens of great restaurants and cafes, we also host one of the best (and oldest) farmer's markets in Ontario, and Waterloo was the birthplace of modern craft beer in Canada and continues to offer some of the very best you'll ever taste!

Nightlife and entertainment

Is there a nearby town centre or downtown with movies, theatres, bars, and nightlife? This could be the one thing that makes your neighbourhood come alive. This is a priority for anyone who is young and single, but everyone appreciates a neighbourhood where the hot spots are within walking distance or a short cab ride away.


Being able to leave the car keys at home and hit the pavement to walk to markets, shopping, restaurants, parks, and all the other amenities your neighbourhood has to offer can alleviate a lot of road rage … and make you fall even more deeply in love with your neighbourhood.

We may be biased, as the Waterloo Region is our home too, but we think that the Kitchener -Waterloo area offers all kinds of great neighbourhood features, and buying a home here is a wonderful move for so many reasons. If you ever have any further questions, feel free to reach out and ask, we’ll be happy to help.

Getting ready to sell your Waterloo Region home, or buy a new one? Let Team Pinto use our huge experience and expertise to help you. Contact the award-winning Team Pinto here, or book a free Zoom consultation to discuss your unique Waterloo Region real estate needs here.


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