When we say in this column that a new home is a good investment, it's often only taken in one way: 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.
Our local market in recent years has proven that to be true, but also limited in scope. Real-estate reports indicate that in eight of the last 10 years, values in the resale-home market have increased by double digits-- in other words, house prices have increased by 10 per cent a year or more. Add to this that Winnipeg has fewer 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 express 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 families.
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. However, 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.
The excitement of a new beginning in a new home allows you the opportunity to choose your future. Schools are just 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 allows you to shape your future and the future of your family. Whether yours is the first house built on the street or the last piece of the puzzle, you're part of a new and thriving neighbourhood that is going to grow and establish its own identity.
Mike Moore is the president of the Manitoba Home Builders' Association.