When home hunting, renters and buyers tend to look at the neighbourhood that appeals most to them. However, when shopping for an investment property, there are a certain set of qualities to look for in the neighbourhood where you will buy in order to get the best return on your investment.

What you should look for in a neighbourhood for your investment property

1. What does this neighbourhood offer?

If you plan on renting out or flipping a property, amenities could be the factor that makes or breaks a deal. Therefore, you want to make sure you look into what each neighbourhood has to offer. Think about what would appeal to the kind of renter or buyer you are hoping to attract. For example, if you are purchasing an investment property by a university, you want to look amenities that would appeal to students. Seniors, on the other hand, often seek to live close to hospitals and like having a grocery store within a short walk from home. Families will want to be close to good schools, of course.

2. What are the area’s building permit regulations?

The cities in Greater Vancouver each have different building permit regulations. If you are planning to purchase an investment property, you will want to make sure the building permit regulations in the area support your initiatives. If you want to add a secondary suite to the property, for example, be sure to double check the regulations around these units.

3. Are there a lot of vacancies nearby?

If there are a lot of rental vacancies, you may want to ask why that is the case. Are there issues with the area? Is there just too great a supply of rental units or houses for sale? No matter what the reason for the vacancies, if there are a lot, it will be harder to rent or sell in the area. In Vancouver, this tends to not be an issue, but is still worth considering.

4. What are the property taxes and condo fees?

Before purchasing an investment property, you want to look at additional costs, specifically property taxes and condo fees (if applicable). Why are these fees important? When you are setting your budget for an investment property, you need to factor in these costs in order to gain an accurate picture of whether or not the property will provide you a profitable return on your investment over the years.

The most important question to ask about the neighbourhood for your investment property

5. What is the going price for the neighbourhood?

If you are purchasing an investment property, you want to know that the investment is sound. The best way to check this is to look at prices in the neighbourhood. If you are planning to rent the property, take a look at rental prices. Looking to flip the house? Consider the recent sale prices of comparable houses. This way, you will have a good sense of the potential of your income property.


The neighbourhood is important, but there are other factors you can use to help increase the value of your investment property. One simple factor that can make a big difference is how you stage your home.

Looking for larger scale changes to your investment property? Drop us a line to discuss home renovations.