MoneySense.ca names Pointe-Claire No. 1 neighbourhood
Interview with Bernie Saab
First-time buyers Terri Rindress and Anita Trudel wanted to buy a home close to Rindress’ work in Notre-Dame-de-Grace, but the hot NDG real estate market was out of their reach, so they began the wander south and then west.
Over four months they looked in St-Henri, Montreal West, Lachine and Dorval before ultimately finding their perfect first home on King Avenue in Pointe-Claire’s Valois neighbourhood.
At the top of their wish list was a spacious, fenced-in yard for their lab/husky mix Shelby. The King Avenue property delivered in spades with a fenced-in double lot. The well-maintained one-and-a-half storey home built in 1936 has three bedrooms, one bathroom, a solarium, hardwood floors and upgrades in all the right places. The purchase price was $373,000.
Last month, MoneySense.ca — an investment-info website — named Pointe-Claire as the No. 1 neighbourhood in the Greater Montreal area in terms of return on investment, access to the downtown core and city-managed improvement projects to commercial districts including both Pointe-Claire and Valois villages.
“I’m excited to hear that,” Rindress said. “Friends were asking why we wanted to move so far away. It’s nice to be validated. There are beautiful homes (in Pointe-Claire) and they are affordable. The house we bought has the warmth and the comfort of the old-type homes you find in NDG and I’m a seven-minute walk from the train station.”
Rounding out the Top 5 neighbourhoods were Mont-Royal (ranked No. 2), Brossard (No. 3), Les Coteaux (Vaudreuil-Soulanges) at No. 4 and Gore (St-Jérôme) at No. 5.
“Pointe-Claire’s location is ideal,” real estate broker Bernard Saab said. “There are three (commuter) train stations and you’re two minutes to a highway — either Highway 40 or the 20 — no matter where you live. You’re close to the (Trudeau) airport, the Fairview mall and the waterfront.”
Saab works at Royal Lepage Village and has been singing Pointe-Claire’s praises for 18 years. He sells homes in both New Jersey and the West Island and has lived in the West Island since 1977. He knows every Pointe-Claire park and service.
“There is low inventory, so we get multiple offers,” Saab said when discussing the return on investment in the area. “A home in Valois purchased for $250,000 is now selling for $400,000. There is no doubt the ROI (return on investment) is high.”
The city’s population of 31,380 is served by the Lakeshore General Hospital, the Terra Cotta nature park, a popular network of neighbourhood pools, a recreation centre and the Aquatics Centre which is home to the internationally-competitive Pointe-Claire Diving Club.
“There are expensive homes, for sure, but there are also older, smaller homes on big lots in places like Valois,” Saab said. “Those homes are very popular with young families. Schools, services, sports, parks and public security. Everything is here. It’s hard to beat.”
Pointe-Claire also has a sizeable seniors population. Mayor Morris Trudeau pointed to the city’s Aid for Seniors Program which helps seniors stay in their homes longer. Volunteers help them with maintenance, snow removal, leaf raking and house cleaning.
Trudeau said a recent survey commissioned by the city showed that a whopping 98 per cent of the population were satisfied with the quality of life in Pointe-Claire and 92 per cent were happy with the services offered.
It’s the leafy, tranquil feel of the neighbourhood that has captured Rindress’ imagination. They take possession of the house in June. She’s happy that shopping is nearby and public transit is a walk away and keen to get busy exploring the parks and walkways with Shelby.
Other West Island and Off-Island neighbourhoods to make the MoneySense Top 25 are Vaudreuil-Dorion/Dorion sector (ranked No. 7); Vaudreuil-Dorion/Vaudreuil West (No. 11); Pierrefonds-Roxboro (No. 12); Pincourt (No. 13); Lachine (No. 14); Vaudreuil-Dorion East (No. 18) and L’Île-Perrot (No. 23). For a complete list, visit www.moneysense.ca/spend/real-estate/buy-montreal-real-estate-2017.