Someone I work with recently pointed out to me that when they Googled “Where does –“, Google automatically filled in “ Where does Scott McGillivray live ”. It gave me a laugh that Google was encouraging people to ask that. It seemed very bizarre to me at the time, but I suppose when you film a show about building your new house, it’s a natural question to ask. So here’s the scoop…
I used to live in Brampton, ON, about half an hour outside of Toronto. But – and those of you who watched Moving the McGillivrays know this – my wife Sabrina and I felt that it was time for a change. We were starting to outgrow the house we bought when we were first married, and we definitely wanted a bit more privacy (notice all the houses you can see in the photo of our backyard). We also wanted to live closer to our parents and extended families. We didn’t just need a new house, we needed a brand new neighborhood.
When choosing our new neighborhood there were a lot of things to consider, and despite what you saw on the show, it took a long time to decide. I will however say that there were five things that were at the top of the list, and while I know everyone’s situation is different, I recommend that anyone looking to purchase a new family home consider the same factors.
Proximity to Family & Friends – Sabrina and I both have pretty big families, and being close to them is important to us. Of course, everyone lives in different towns, so we had to think about the length of the commute to visit them all. While being close to the aunts, uncles and cousins is important for our kids, we decided that proximity to grandparents was our #1 concern. When you’re choosing a neighbourhood to live in it’s very important to think about how close you want to be to the people you love.
School District – With two young kids, a good school district was very important. But even without kids I would have looked for this anyway. A good school district is important for resale value, and it should always be a top priority when searching for a new family home.
Healthcare Facilities – Healthcare is obviously important at every stage of life, but with young kids and aging parents, proximity to good healthcare facilities was hugely important to us. Easy access to good healthcare can increase your quality of life exponentially, so keep it in mind when house hunting.
Highway Access/Commute Time – Since I have several offices and I travel a lot for work, there’s no such thing as real proximity to work for me. But for Sabrina, who’s a teacher, there is. So for us the best decision was to find something close to Sabrina’s work, and with direct highway access for me. From the time I hop in my truck it takes about 10 minutes for me to get on the highway. Whether I’m headed to one of the offices, or the airport, I can get there pretty quick.
Sense of Community/Neighborhood – In our last home we were smack dab in the middle of a densely populated neighborhood. It was great having people close by, but the sense of privacy was definitely lacking. At any given time, neighbors in at least a dozen houses could look out over our backyard. So for our new home, we wanted fewer neighbors, but still wanted to be in a neighborhood.
After considering these factors, along with a few others, we finally settled on a location.
So the answer to the question “ where does Scott McGillivray live? ” is… in my dream house, in my dream neighborhood, with the people I love the most. I think for now I’ll keep the exact location to myself, but just know that it was a decision a long time in the making, and I couldn’t be happier with the result. But teasing aside, if you want to see pictures of where I live, you can always check out the photos in my design gallery and at HGTV Canada.
Photos courtesy of McGillivray Group and HGTV Canada’s Moving the McGillivrays.