Has the pandemic made you think about making a big move? If so, you’re not alone — semi-rural and country life have become more attractive to many people craving more space.
In fact, one in three Canadians are considering relocating, according to a recent survey by insurance company Aviva Canada. If you’re house hunting, here are some things to keep in mind:
1. Outdoor living space.
A property with enough outdoor space is essential for many families who have spent more time enjoying nature lately. Whether you need room for entertaining, gardening or a play area for kids, make sure you take the time to consider if the yard or patio fits your vision for outdoor living.
2. Affordable location.
In today’s red-hot housing market, affordability is key. Though it’s tempting to spend all your savings on the perfect place, make sure you can still manage the mortgage payments if interest rates rise or there’s a family emergency. If you still need to go into the office occasionally, factor in higher commuting costs or the added expense of an additional vehicle.
3. Insurance impact.
As more people move away from large cities, this may come with some surprises. Not only are crickets much louder at night, but there’s more to think about than just the mortgage and property taxes.
“There are insurance considerations when it comes to rural versus urban properties,” explains Phil Gibson, managing director, personal insurance and data science at Aviva Canada. “The age of the home, its proximity to fire hydrants or firehalls, and flood risk are all factors. That’s why it’s best to discuss these things with both your insurance broker or agent and your realtor before settling on your dream home.”
4. Multigenerational living.
More Canadians are choosing to live with extended family members, whether it’s to help care for aging parents or to share housing costs. If this is something you’ll need now or soon, make sure any home you’re looking at can potentially accommodate everyone, or factor in a big renovation budget.
5. Proximity to amenities.
Don’t get caught up in how beautiful a home is if it’s far from places that improve your quality of life. Everyone has their priorities — whether it’s being near parks, restaurants or a local library. If you’re planning a move away from the city, think about how often you’ll want or need to return to see how far away it’s reasonable to move.