Is this the right area for me?

Maple Ridge
New home development in Maple Ridge

This week we have three families over here in B.C. on their research trips so it made me wonder how people make the decision about what area is right for them. That is a pretty big question, isn’t it?


As an example of how not to do it, I am borrowing from a client from a few years ago. Before we met them Charles and Camilla [not their real names] had been out on a research trip. They did this all themselves.

Camilla had done most of the research on the internet. She and Charles ended up with a short list of areas they thought might suit.

Charles told me that the research trip ended up being more of a holiday than a research trip. They did hire a car and drive around the areas on their list, but Charles said it was “like being on a bus tour, only without the commentary”. They drove along pretty streets, saw some ugly areas, passed shopping areas and schools but knew nothing much about any of them.

In the end Charles and Camilla spent most of their time just being tourists. They enjoyed the trip but when their visas arrived, and they finally contacted us, they were no wiser about where they wanted to live.

By contrast Kate and Wills [also not their real names!] were here a couple of weeks ago. They’d been in touch before hand and we’d talked on the phone. This helped because we came up with a rough idea of the areas that would work given their budget for a home to buy. Even though they don’t expect to buy immediately they wanted to rent in an area that they could afford when they were ready to buy.

Kate and Wills thought that Maple Ridge or Langley would be the best fit for their budget. Neither of these areas are ones that I know well, but that’s where our local experts come in! I referred Kate and Wills out to our partner in Maple Ridge. [We have 15 partners covering all the major areas in B.C. from Victoria, Greater Vancouver and into the Okanagan]

The tour that Kate and Wills had took them around Maple Ridge and Langley. They went to see a few homes in both areas that were in their price range. Kate particularly liked this because, as she said, “the pictures on the internet don’t tell the whole story”. Kate liked some of what she saw and both of them know a lot more about what kind of homes and areas might work for them.

More importantly, to borrow from Charles, their tour came with a commentary. And both Kate and Wills were able to get answers to questions that they didn’t even know they had until they saw the areas from a local’s view point.

So imagine that you’ve used two weeks of your precious holiday entitlement, plus a load of money, on your research trip. Would you prefer to be Charles and Camilla or Kate and Wills?


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