An Investment in Lifestyle
Written by Mike Moore of the Manitoba Home Builders Association (MHBA)
When we say in this column that a new home is a good investment, it often only gets taken one way. Unfortunately, some people see the word investment and only think of it in terms of money. We invest in stocks, bonds or precious metals to make money, so naturally, many people think that an investment in a new home has a goal of making money.
Recent years in our local market has proven that to be true, but also limited in scope. Real estate reports indicate that in eight of the last ten years, values in the resale home market have increased by double digits. That is to say that house prices have increased by 10% per year or more. Couple that with the fact that Winnipeg has less than half the listings per capita than either Calgary or Saskatoon and again one could not be faulted for buying a new home for the expressed purpose of seeing it appreciate in value before selling it in a local market that has tremendous demand.
However, most of us are also investors in lifestyle and our own personal well-being. A new home is more than just money; it’s where we want to live; where we want to develop life-long friendships with our neighbours; where we want our children to go to school; where we want to shop; and where we want to raise our family.
A new home can be a new beginning.Many people grow up in one particular neighbourhood and then, when it comes time to buy their own new home, they look in that old, familiar neighbourhood because it brings a sense of comfort to them. However, what they often fail to take into account is that although that neighbourhood was a tremendous place for them and their peers to be raised, it might not offer the same amenities a generation later. School demographics might be different 20 years later if the residents are the same. It may be a tremendous place to be from, more than a tremendous place to be. Thomas Wolfe was right in 1940 when he talked about returning home again.
The excitement of a new beginning in a new home allows you the opportunity to choose your future. The aforementioned schools are one factor. Living within a reasonable distance of where you like to shop is a consideration. Some people are influenced by the proximity of green space, both for visual aesthetics and for exercise. Others look for community clubs and recreational and social contacts.
A new home permits you to shape your future and the future of your family. Whether you are the first house built on the street or the last piece of the puzzle, you are part of a new and thriving neighbourhood that is going to grow together to establish its own identity.