Best Neighbourhoods in Winnipeg: How to Choose Where to Buy Your Home

Houses in Wolseley in Winnipeg

Buying a home requires a lot of forethought, and isn’t as simple as going out to look at homes for sale in your price range. There are many things to consider, which will help you narrow down the homes that meet your criteria.

Here are some things to think about:

Are Some Neighbourhoods Better for First Time Home Buyers?

When thinking about buying your first home in Winnipeg, people often find themselves thinking that certain neighbourhoods are better for first time home buyers than others. Blair Sonnichsen, a Winnipeg Realtor, wants future home owners to know that every Winnipeg community has starter homes available.

“Every community has to, by design, have entry-level housing. Whether you are looking in St. James, Fort Garry or North Kildonan, you will have options available to you,” Sonnichsen says. Therefore, it’s not a matter of finding the ‘best neighbourhood in Winnipeg for a first time home buyer’, but choosing a home in a neighbourhood that best fits with your lifestyle and future goals.

What is your Lifestyle?

Lifestyle and culture is an important thing to consider when looking for your home, Sonnichsen says. “If you have children, do you want them to be learning French on the playground? If so, you may wish to consider St. Boniface or St. Vital, for example.”

Is good schooling, parks and recreational facilities a priority for you, or would you prefer to be in close proximity of restaurants, retail and entertainment facilities? Are you looking to be closest to the hottest restaurants in a more central area such as Corydon or downtown? Or would you rather live in a new development such as Bridgwater Forest? Really think about how you want your life to look – both now, and over the next few years.

What Type of Home do you Want?

The type of home that you are looking for is also important. Are you looking to buy a single family home, or would you be happy in a condo or side-by-side? The type of home you are looking for will influence what neighbourhoods you’ll be considering. If you’re looking to buy a single family bungalow, you might want to consider looking in St. James or look downtown if you want luxury condo living, for instance. If you’re considering a condo, read about the differences between purchasing a condo vs. purchasing a house.

One strategy Sonnichsen often suggests is to buy a home just as a community’s demographics are shifting. This happens when the older homeowners are leaving the community to move into assisted living, condos or a senior resident community. “This can be a good way to purchase a nice-sized home for a good price,” Sonnichsen says.

Don’t let the outdated look of a home in one of these communities stop you – Sonnichsen encourages buyers not to look for the “perfect home” – instead, “focus on making your home perfect”. Outdated flooring, an old kitchen and dated washrooms can be upgraded. The benefit of an older community is that amenities such as schools, public transit and recreation facilities are readily available.

If you need to renovate the home you are purchasing, Cambrian can help with our “purchase plus improvements mortgage”, allowing you to make your new home just the way you like it.

With a purchase plus improvements mortgage, you can borrow up to 10% of the projected value of the home once the renovations are complete. Let’s say your dream home is listed for $300,000 and the projected value once renovations are complete is $350,000. That means you can borrow up to 10% of $350,000 or $35,000 for renovations. This amount would be added to your mortgage.

If you’re looking for a newer home, Sonnichsen says that the new developments in Winnipeg such as Bridgwater Forest, Sage Creek, Ridgewood West, and Aurora offer housing options at a variety of price points. This allows you to get a move-in ready home without the need for renovations.

The Winnipeg Neighbourhoods Where We Live and Work

For more than 60 years Cambrian Credit Union has called Winnipeg and Selkirk home. After countless conversations with members and staff about their homes, we wanted to help you choose your ideal neighbourhood by outlining what it feels like to live in the communities we serve. Looking for beautiful green space, a short commute to downtown or a specific culinary scene? Explore the tree-lined streets of the neighbourhoods where we live and work by clicking the image below.

Cambrian neighbourhoods where we live and work

Knowing how much home you can afford is an important first step when thinking about buying your first home. Take 2 minutes and complete Cambrian’s Mortgage Affordability Calculator to find out what you can afford. 

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