Help me I’m….Homeless

UPDATE: Twitter has been helpful to my search, connecting with realtors and community members.

I’ve discovered a few things:

@KWJen: District 14, 16 & 15 (south of William) are favs (in Uptown)

Keith Marshall @kdmarshall is a realtor and really connected and available online

Mary Keller has also been recommended to me as someone who knows her stuff!

Found this interactive Map of Waterloo… could be useful. It has a drop down menu top left to find and write on the map!

Also Following: Kitchener Apartments + RE/MAX Cananda

Original Post:

Right now we are in the very early stages of apartment hunting in Waterloo. So far, while I have found Craigslist extremely helpful in the Toronto house hunt, apparently Waterloosians are lovers of – subtle differences that can really make the search a LOT harder.

We’re looking for a house rental, probably semi detached or a townhouse. We want somewhere that can serve as a starter family home because who can afford a down payment on your own home after 4 years of university!? Don’t you just hate those people.

Anyway, I thought sharing my housing hunt would be helpful for those moving to Waterloo without a clear idea of what area’s are cool and how to get there. Hopefully my mistakes help minimize yours!

Now, as a Torontonian the “up and coming” was always a big sell but I feel like in Waterloo “up and coming” is just not quick enough for my comfort. For those of you that want “up and coming” apparently it’s located by the Lancaster Smokehouse and MPC Public Kitchen – both fantastic restaurants but the neighbourhood is still really mixed and the houses just aren’t maintained. They’re also technically in Kitchener… See image below:

Where to live....

Where to live….

Essentially: Uptown is walking distance to the restaurants + shops but it’s expensive. The students area can be quite rowdy but the area is more affordable. Westmount is fancy for wealthy older families.

So, let the search begin!


6 thoughts on “Help me I’m….Homeless

  1. You may want to try Mt Hope area. On the border of Kitchener and Waterloo core areas. You get the best of both.

  2. I’ve been trying to find an online version of the real estate districts map for you, but it’s proving difficult! To help you out, here’s a summary of the areas I tend to keep an eye on… 15 is Old Westmount and the reason I say “south of William” is that above that you’ll start to get into a lot more student rentals. Not always, but more frequently. Definitely expensive to buy in this area, but you can sometimes find an affordable place to rent. 14 is my personal favourite and includes part of the southern Uptown core plus the blank area on your map extending east and south into Kitchener/Mt Hope area. This area has a lot of 1950s bungalows plus older (60+) 2-storeys as you start to get closer to Wellington St. The Wellington end has been up-and-coming for a while now and with the Breithaupt Block development, future LRT site, new Victoria Commons condos, and university expansions into the Kitchener core it’s likely to become an even hotter location very soon. Closer to Uptown, but still in 14, the neighbourhood is going through a turn-over phase where older, empty-nesters – some of whom have been here since they first built in the 1950s – are moving out and younger families are moving in. The catch is, there are very few rentals in this area and the “good” houses are selling in a matter of days. Literally. A house just down the street from us sold in under 48 hours for at least 20k over list. Finally, 16, is in the upper middle part of your map starting roughly north of Bridgeport and east of Weber. Slightly less walkable to the core/shops, but still a great neighbourhood and with a wide mix of homes including a lot of larger homes for future consideration. I’d probably avoid the townhomes on the northern part of Bluevale though. Not the nicest spot in my opinion. One last note, the area just east and south of Breithaupt Park – captured it in your MPC Public Kitchen circle – has some good finds. I’m not sure what district this is technically part of – possibly 14 or maybe another number – but as long as you stick to the section between Margaret and Lancaster you should be good. As you mentioned, the area closer to Lancaster is still “up and coming” and has a ways to go yet. Good luck!

  3. Happy to help! I asked Mary about an online version of the map and she said they’re produced by the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors but when she checked their site she couldn’t find an online copy either. She has printed copies if you want one though. Feel free to give her a shout or swing by the Re/Max office at 180 Weber St. S (just south of Union). She dropped off a new copy for me today. 🙂

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