As a buyers agent I get asked this question a lot, but honestly, it depends on what you are looking for in an area, or neighborhood. Vancouver, as a whole, is a wonderful place to live, and we have a lot of nice outside communities that are very close as well. Vancouver is an area of 'pocket neighborhoods'.... we don't really have a 'good' side, or 'bad' side, and every area has its pros and cons. I have buyers who love and desire to live in certain areas, and buyers who don't want to live in the exact same community or area that the other family wants to live in.... finding a home, and an area that you want to live is such a personal choice that I really would check it out for yourself. When helping someone buy a home my one rule of thumb is that I refuse to sell a home that I wouldn't live in myself with my family. :-)
The real question would be what type of area/community are you looking for?
A lot of parks? type of home? yard size? new neighborhood? established neighborhood? etc? These are all questions a buyers agent should be asking you. Again, honestly, it really depends on what YOU, and your family feel happy with. My suggestion would be to take a day either with your buyers agent, or without, and just drive around the area to get a feel for it. This will help you to see what areas might feel more comfortable in. :-) If you choose to go with an agent, we can help you from getting lost! :-D Take a day or two...one day to drive around Vancouver, another to drive around some of our outlying towns... when buying a home you don't want to trust some one else's opinion on where you want to live. This will be YOUR home, so YOU need to be happy. One mans treasure is another mans junk....so to speak.
If it helps, you can email or call me with what you are looking for in a home. I can set you up on a search that will send you homes that match what you are looking for (price, bedroom, bathrooms, yard size, etc), and this might help you get a 'feel' for the market up here....and help you get a feel for an area that might feel like home... no obligation!
Moving across country is such a BIG thing....especially for a family...that you will want to find a home/area that feels like where you have been happy at in Arizona. As a mom, this is what I would do anyhow. :-) My other piece of advice would be to take your time.... maybe come up for a weekend before you move, if you can, to drive around with a buyers agent.... whatever works best for you. Don't let yourself feel, or be, pressured...
Please feel free to call me at (360) 903-3504, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am, as always, happy to help.
Good luck! ((hug!))
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