A new website aims to help potential homebuyers make one of the most important decisions when buying a home – which neighbourhood to live in.
“I moved so many times; I’m from Brazil originally, then I moved to the U.S. to go to school, and then Western Canada and Montreal,” Mauro Repacci, Co-founder and CEO of Navut told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “It’s hard to navigate a new city and the reality is every neighbourhood is different and I thought there should be a better way to help people make these decisions.”
Navut.com’s Neighbourhood finder was born from the frustration of moving to new cities and, each of its founders has – at one time or another – faced a frustrating moving experience.
“It was a two year process to collect all the data and information together,” Repacci said. “We launched the first version in May 2013 and from there we are improving it with user feedback.”
The program currently services Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. Users choose a city and fill out criteria for five different categories – housing, school, commuting, neighbours and neighbourhood quality. Each category has a number of sub-categories, such as housing type, curb appeal, and cost that users then rank on a scale from “not important” to “extremely important”.
The entire process takes a few moments and the user is then given five neighbourhoods that fit the chosen criteria.
Brokers and Realtors can create profiles and gain access to the neighbourhoods and housing types they specialize in. In Montreal, in the past two months alone, 400 profiles were created by industry professionals. And the company plans on growing its focus on mortgage brokers.
“I believe there is some major opportunity there. 30 per cent of our users are looking to buy a property; I think working with mortgage brokers would be advantageous because they can offer our clients the best deals,” Repacci said. “It’s important that our users get the best deal in the market.”