Buying into a transitional neighbourhood

transitional neighbourhood

Neighbourhoods change over time. You want to be buying into a transitional neighbourhood

Although buying a home should not be thought of as an investment, it is well documented that similar homes in different parts of town will appreciate at different rates. All things being equal, you should buy a home in a transitional neighbourhood. It could mean tens of thousands of dollars to you when you later sell.

We are always looking for clues to good and bad real estate and recently there have been stories about the advantages of buying near a Starbucks, a shopping mall, a tourist landmark and a Whole Foods store. On the other side, you probably don’t want to buy near a pawn shop, tattoo parlour, nightclub, strip club, a mall with more than one dollar store…you get the idea.

Transitioning up

But what are the clues for a transitional neighbourhood? How can you be first into a neighbourhood on its way up? Here are a few things to look for:

Public transportation

Young twenty and thirty-somethings are first into transitional neighbourhoods. Owning a car is not as important to them as to previous generations. In Kitchener Waterloo, the East Ward and the North Ward neighbourhood would be included here.

Next-door neighbourhood

A high-demand neighbourhood will spill over into the neighbouring neighbourhoods. Live on the fringe of greatness and you will soon become great. In Kitchener Waterloo, Columbia Forest and Clair Hills and now Vista Hills would be good examples of this due to their proximity to Laurelwood.

Days on Market

Ask your realtor about real estate trends. Houses in Laurelwood have always sold faster than other neighbourhoods. In the past couple of years, houses in Eastbridge, the East Ward and Uptown are spending fewer and fewer days on the market.

Art for Art’s sake

If there are artists, then there will be galleries and soon restaurants and coffee shops will follow.

Historical buildings

Two generations ago, the cities cleared out as families moved to the suburbs. Now families are moving back. They are looking for the charm and sometimes quirkiness of older buildings.


If you see contractors trucks and construction vehicles, pools and additions and sometimes even complete rebuilds, you know the neighbourhood is doing well.

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