Real Estate Buying for Young Professionals: What to Look for

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When you aren’t three sheets deep in an Excel document, you’re three mimosas deep at a power brunch. When you aren’t pulling the weight of an entire sales team, you’re pulling the weight machines at your neighborhood gym. And when you aren’t flipping through client accounts, you’re flipping through shows to stream at the end of another busy, jam-packed day. It’s the life of a young professional: equal parts work and play, with little time for anything else.

If you’re a young professional with enough savings for a down payment, you’ve probably considered owning your big city slice. But where should you look? When you approach the top real estate companies with your list of must-haves, what will your neighborhood checklist look like?

Below, we explore the top criteria for young urban professional homebuyers.

Proximity: Close (but Not Too Close) to the Nightlife

Ideally, a young professional wants the option to enjoy nightlife without being bombarded at 2 AM by the sounds of club-goers spilling onto the sidewalk. Ask your realtor for areas that feature both peak intersections for nightlife (bars, pubs, clubs and music venues) and adjacent residential neighbourhoods buffered from the excitement.

Culture: Restaurants, Cafes and Entertainment

Working long hours, you don’t always have time to fuss over a hot stove or Aeropress coffee contraption.Nor do you have the time to catch a rideshare across town for entertainment. You want your sustenance and entertainment a stone’s throw away. With a knowledgeable realtor, brainstorm areas with high concentrations of restaurants, cafes, cultural activities (like live shows or galleries) and entertainment.

Walkability: Transit and Amenities

Most (though certainly not all) urban professionals rely on public transit for work. And at the end of a long day plus commutes, they want their groceries, toiletries, shops and appointments close at hand. Essentially, you want “walkability.” Sometimes expressed by “walk score”and “transit score,” this all-important metric lets you know how much ground you’ll need to cover on foot to shop and travel.

Future Planning: Schools, Playgrounds, Rec Centers and Safety

You might not have kids and/or a partner right now – but you’re open to it. If that describes you, consider expanding your search to neighbourhoods for young families. These neighbourhoods are often defined by their proximity to good schools, well-stocked rec centers, safe outdoor areas and playgrounds. An experienced realtor should be able to find you an area that ticks this box without precluding the last three.

The Home Itself: Bright, Spacious and Move-In Ready

Finally, you can think about the home itself. Because you’re busy, consider a “move-in ready” home that won’t need significant renovations, upgrades or repairs. And because you might work the odd day at your home office, optimize your search for bright, spacious, open-concept floor plans conducive to a focused day at work.

This might seem like a tall order to fulfill, but remember: You aren’t going it alone. A quality realtor should be able to find homes that satisfy these criteria (and more) within your budget.

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