If you’re in the market for a new home in the Edmonton area, you probably have a lot on your mind.
From finding the perfect community, choosing a builder, deciding on a lot, and staying within your budget, there’s a lot to think about!
That’s why we’re going to take a step back and give you a useful tool for making that first, important decision…
Where in the Edmonton region do you want to live?
If you’re like most people, your search for a new home started with a quadrant of Edmonton or one of the surrounding towns or cities already in mind.
It’s probably in an area with which you’re already familiar.
You might have grown up in Stony Plain or Spruce Grove, so you’re looking at communities in those areas or somewhere on Edmonton’s west end.
You might have gone to grade school in North Edmonton, so are now looking at communities in that area.
But, before you carve away your options, do yourself a favour and take an objective look at your situation.
The Edmonton region is growing in every direction, and there are pros and cons to any new community, depending on what you value.
Today, we’ll frame the conversation around something everyone values: Time.
Specifically, how much of your time you’ll have to spend driving from activity to activity based on where you live.
We’ll also introduce a simple method for mapping out your weekly routine that will give you a new perspective on what your life in Edmonton looks like and how your new home can best accommodate your lifestyle.
According to Stats Canada’s 2016 census, the average Canadian spends an hour and a half of their day in “transport to and from an activity.”
For most of us, that means driving to work, to friends, or to the hockey game. It might also mean driving the kids to school, to and from the grocery store, and to the gym.
Let’s assume you work eight hours and you sleep eight more (wouldn’t that be nice!). That leaves you with eight hours a day of free time to get ready for work, run your errands, do chores, catch up on Netflix, and—what we’re talking about today—get from one activity to the next.
That one and a half hours of transportation make up almost 20% of your free time, so it’s in your best interest to minimize that number so you can maximize your experiences.
Being smart about where you live within the Edmonton region will go a long way in helping you spend more of your life “doing” and less of it driving.
Now, let’s get started creating a visual that will help you make a more informed decision during your home buying process.
Map Your Life
You probably already have a sense of what you do every week, but seeing all that information on a single image can be very helpful.
On the map below, you can see an example of what we’ll be creating.
Each one of these markers represents a common destination, like your gym, your work, your kids’ daycare, and the homes of friends and family members.
In the example above, the new home buyer will have to spend a lot more of their time driving if they choose to move to north or west Edmonton.
Maybe they’re okay with that. But at least they won’t be surprised when their drive time jumps up once they move into their new place.
Create Your Own Map
Follow these simple instructions to make your very own map using Google Maps.
- Go to maps.google.com
- Click on the menu icon in the top left
- Select “Your places”
- At this point, if you aren’t already, you’ll be asked to sign in. If you don’t have a Google account, you’ll be asked to create one.
- Click on “MAPS”
- Click on “CREATE MAP” at the bottom of the menu
- Click on the “Add Marker” icon under the search bar and start creating your map
Here, you’ll be able to add markers to your map. You can give each location a title like:
- Husband’s Work
- Mom & Dad’s
Below are some of our ideas for categories that you should mark:
- Work – The daily commute. This one is important!
- Family – Do you visit your family members regularly? Get ‘em on there!
- Friends – A long drive can turn a close relationship into a “let’s not have another six months go by until we see each other!” friendship.
- Daycare – If you love your daycare, you’ll want to consider its location.
- Fitness – There are gyms all over the city, but if you’re a member of a close-knit spin club, boxing gym, or CrossFit gym, you’ll probably still want to go.
These are just a few items, but you should add any other locations that are important to you.
Once you’re done, you should have a map that gives you a visual of your life in the city.
It might look something like this:
Or it might look more like this:
Are all your locations huddled together in the southeast?
Are they a smattering between the west end and the core?
Are they a series of clusters between Stony Plain and Sherwood Park?
Just because all of your markers are clustered in one corner of the city, it doesn’t mean you have to move there! Maybe you’re looking to make a fresh start away from your current relationships and routines.
It doesn’t matter what your map looks like, what’s important is that you have a new way to look at your weekly routine.
The more perspectives you have, and the more data you have access to, the more informed your decision will be.
Edmonton has dozens of incredible new communities, so do your research, consider your priorities, and find the perfect place to call home.
No matter where in the Edmonton region you’re looking to buy, Qualico has amenity-rich communities that we’re sure you’ll love.
To see the full list of our communities, visit our website.