Halifax and the surrounding communities were amalgamated as the Halifax Regional Municipality in 1996. Halifax is the capital of Nova Scotia and the largest urban centre in the Atlantic Provinces. In terms of neighbourhoods, Halifax mainland can be broken down into several distinct areas – the South End, the West End, the North End, and downtown.

The South End – also known as Halifax Peninsula has an abundance of historic properties with magnificent architecture. Close to hospitals, universities and the splendid Point Pleasant Park, the area is sought after, prosperous and comes with a high price tag. View South End homes for sale here

The West End – close to the downtown hub, this area is less pricey than the South End with tree-lined older residential streets offering a variety of housing types to choose from. The area is home to many students and low rent units. View West End homes for sale here

The North End – is home to a thriving artistic community, trendy coffee shops and new eateries. It continues to be popular destination for Halifax’s growing University population. The North End has its fair share of crime and poverty, with many areas undergoing gentrification and new development. View North End homes for sale here

Downtown Halifax – close to all amenities, shopping, entertainment and attractions, living in the city centre has many advantages. Residential property consists primarily of apartments and condos built over the past 20+ years, however there are numerous development plans that aim to increase the population density of the downtown area. View Downtown homes for sale here

Fairview

On the Western edge of Halifax, Fairview offers a very short commute into downtown Halifax, is close to Irving Shipyard and the hospitals and Universities of the City. The up and coming area is attracting urban professionals seeking shorter travel times. With very good transportations links and highway access and within walking distance to shopping and amenities, the area is appealing to those looking for well-priced, older housing close to everything. Prices start from $200,000 for a 3 bed home. View Fairview homes for sale

Clayton Park

With ongoing development and expansion, this is a growing, highly populated area with easy access to the central hub. There are plenty of upscale homes and neighbourhoods as well as a large number of high density apartment complexes and condos. The area is close to local amenities, parks, Recreation Centres and shopping (Bayers Lake). Downtown Halifax is less than 15 minutes away. Prices start at $150,000 for a 2 bedroom condo and upwards of $225,000 and upwards for a single family home. View Clayton Park homes for sale

Bedford

Bedford is a popular community well located for access to Halifax (15-20 minutes commute time depending on time of day), Dartmouth and the airport.  With a great location close to all amenities and shopping on your doorstep – Bedford Place Mall, Sunnyside Malls, Bedford Commons and Sobeys Plaza – you are close to everything.

Home to two stunning waterfront parks – De Wolf Park with approximately 1 mile of paved walking path overlooking Bedford Basin – and Bedford Lions Park with a popular outdoor heated swimming pool and picnic/play area, there’s plenty to keep young and old occupied.  Papermill Lake is home to a supervised beach (summer) and skating in winter.

Bedford has a housing style and budget to suit everyone from condos to new build to character homes. Prices start upwards from $250,000 for a single family home.

With good elementary and Junior high schools and a brand new state of the art High School, Charles P Allen, this is definitely a super community in which to live, work and raise a family. View Bedford homes for sale

Hammonds Plains/Kingswood

Hammonds Plains is popular community located 5 minutes from Bedford and 20-40 minutes to downtown. The area has large spacious treed lots and a variety of subdivisions to choose from including Voyager Lakes, Glen Arbour golf community and the much sought after community of Kingswood and Kingswood North. Shopping and entertainment can be found in Bedford, Tantallon or Clayton Park, located 5-15 minutes away. The area has minimal shopping and some medical facilities.

Travel to the city takes 20-30 minutes, depending on which of the three routes you take and the time of day. The area does suffer with congestion issues.

House styles range from older homes to unique executive style properties. All homes have a septic system and most have a well. Some of the newer homes in Kingswood have city water. Prices start upwards of $225,000 for a single family home.

Schools in the area include Kingswood Elementary, Hammonds Plains Consolidated, Madeline Symonds Middle School, Ecole Five Bridges Junior High, Charles P. Allen High School and Sir John A. MacDonald High. View Hammonds Plains homes for sale

Haliburton Hills/Heights, Tantallon

The area from Hammonds Plains to Tantallon is one of the fastest growing areas in HRM. The popularity of the area has resulted in a full complement of amenities, including schools, recreation facilities and shopping. The area is located approx. 22kms from the city and is an easy commute to downtown Halifax (15 minutes on Highway 103).

The area offers country living with the benefit of easy access to amenities. Subdivisions include Haliburton Hills/Heights, Westwood Hills, Highland Park and St Margaret’s Bay. The area has a mix of older and newer homes on large lots with septic systems.  Many are on one of the several lakes in the area. Most of the newer properties are in the Haliburton subdivisions. Prices start upwards of $250,000 for a single family home. View Haliburton Heights / Tantallon homes for sale

Sackville

Sackville is a well-positioned community broken down into three separate areas – Lower, Middle and Upper Sackville. Sackville provides an excellent choice for housing styles and budgets. Lower Sackville is the central hub with excellent transportation links, shopping and amenities including restaurants, library recreation centre, swimming pool, ice rinks and move theatre.

Middle Sackville has more space and larger lots with the majority of homes on a well.

Upper Sackville is approximately 7 miles from the bustle of Sackville with large, affordable lot and privacy. Prices start from $220,000 for a single family home.

There are many good schools within Sackville, three Junior High Schools and two High Schools – Sackville High and Millwood.

Commute times from Lower Sackville to downtown Halifax is approximately 20-30 minutes. View Sackville homes for sale

Beaverbank

Beaverbank is very similar to Middle/Upper Sackville with large lots and some new developments and subdivisions being created. Prices are much the same as Middle Sackville from $220,000 upwards. View Beaverbank homes for sale

Fall River

Centrally located only 15 minutes to the airport and 20-30 minutes to Downtown Halifax, Fall River is one of the most picturesque areas within HRM with an abundance of lakes, wide open spaces and large spacious lots. Fall River is a fast growing, well planned community and offers a mix of older properties and brand new developments, each with its own unique personality and many offering lake front living. All homes have septic systems, some are on a well and some subdivisions have city water. It all depends on what you are looking for. There is a good choice of housing types with a varying price tag ranging from $225,000 upwards of $1m.

The area is well serviced with amenities including a new Recreation Centre, Sobeys, doctors and dentists. Major shopping is only a 10 minute drive to Bedford, Sackville (via Highway 102) or Dartmouth Crossing (via Highway 118).

The schools are sought after and some of the best in metro.  There are three Elementary schools serving the Fall River Community – Ash Lee Jefferson, offering early French Immersion (Gr Primary – 6), Holland Road Elementary (Gr Primary -6) and Waverly Memorial (Gr Primary – 6). George P Vanier is the Junior High (Grades 7-8) and Lockview High School serves Grades 9-12.

Fall River is an excellent, very friendly and family oriented community. View Fall River homes for sale

Waverley

The Community of Waverley is well located, just 10 minutes from the airport and 30 minutes to downtown Halifax.  Very similar to Fall River, the majority of the lots are large with a wide selection of traditional style homes. Many homes have lake access and some are lakefront. There are some excellent subdivisions with newer style homes, often on large country lots. Prices start from $275,000 upwards for a 3 bedroom single family home to upwards of a $1million plus.

Although the area has minimal amenities, it does have its own well established Canoe Club, several daycare facilities, a Post Office and a convenience store. Fall River is a 5 minute drive.

Waverley Memorial (built in 2011) is the Elementary School serving this area. The Junior High and High School are in Fall River. View Waverley homes for sale

Wellington

Wellington is a semi-rural community positioned between Fall River and Grand Lake. The airport is 20 minutes away, downtown Halifax approximately 40 minutes. This area offers good value for money with a mix of older and newer developments, such as Oaken Hills. Many homes are on large spacious lots and some offer lakefront living. Prices range from $200,000 upwards.

Holland Road is the Elementary School for children living in this area. The Junior High and High School are in Fall River.

Wellington has minimal amenities, but does have two convenience stores, a pizzeria and a bakery.  Fall River is a 5 minute drive and all amenities and facilities are easily accessible by car. View Wellington homes for sale

Grand Lake

With a rural feel, yet located close to highways and only minutes from the airport and a 40 minute commute to downtown Halifax, Grand Lake is a sought after community.  As well as an abundance of lakes and well serviced provincial parks, Laurie Park and Oakfield, there is a golf course and numerous hiking and running trails.

House prices vary depending on what you are looking for but start upwards of $250,000, House styles range from new developments, lakefront properties, and small cottages to vast estates.

Schools serving the Grand Lake area are Holland Road Elementary (or Ash Lee Jefferson for early French Immersion Program). The Junior High and High School are in Fall River. View Grand Lake homes for sale

Timberlea

Located 15- 20 minutes from downtown Halifax, along the St Margaret’s Bay Road Timberlea offers a variety of older and newer subdivisions. The area has experienced significant growth over the past few years. Highway improvements and a new exit off highway 103 has made access to Halifax very convenient. Traditionally most homes here were considered starter homes due to their affordability. However, the area has a lot of new housing developments which has pushed up the price. Prices start at approximately $220,000 for a single family home.

There is minimal shopping and amenities in Timberlea itself but access to Bayers Lake Retail Park is just minutes away. View Timerlea homes for sale

Spryfield

Located 15 minutes from Halifax, Spryfield has a reputation for good value, affordable housing. The area has been through difficult times in the past and has its fair share of crime and poverty. However, there are pockets of subdivisions that are up and coming and improving the reputation of the area. The area has many low end multi-family properties and rentals, making the area appealing to real estate investors. Prices start at $180,000 in the older areas of Spryfield and upwards of $300,000 in the new, up and coming areas. View Spryfield homes for sale

Dartmouth

The City of Dartmouth is located across the harbour and covers a large area. Known as the City of Lakes, with over 23 lakes there’s an abundance of activities offered on the water year round including skating, paddling, public beaches etc. Driving from Dartmouth to Halifax is via one of two bridges, which can often get congested in rush hour. With a good public transit system and a convenient ferry service taking you into Halifax, you have several options for getting into downtown Halifax. The commute time from Dartmouth to downtown Halifax depends upon where you live in Dartmouth, but is approximately 15–30 minutes during off peak and 20-40 minutes during rush hour.

Dartmouth has several recreation and sporting facilities, Dartmouth Sportsplex and Cole Harbour Place and has several shopping areas – Mic Mac Mall, Penhorn Mall, Dartmouth Crossing and Burnside Industrial and Retail Park.

It is wise to know where you are buying in Dartmouth, some areas are less appealing than others, although some of these older areas are undergoing gentrification. House prices vary depending on the type of property and the location you choose.  There are some excellent neighbourhoods and great schools in Dartmouth. Neighbourhoods within Dartmouth include Forest Hills, Colby Village, Portland Hills, Portland Estates, Russell Lake West, Woodlawn, Manor Park, Crichton Park, Lancaster Ridge, and Montebello.

Dartmouth is a large area. It’s definitely a great place to live and very convenient to all amenities. View Dartmouth homes for sale

Woodside

Although located very close to the Halifax/Dartmouth ferry terminal, the proximity to the oil refineries is a deterrent for a lot of people. The area is home to Dartmouth General Hospital, NSCC Waterfront Campus and Woodside Industrial Park. House prices are affordable and there are many rental properties in this area. View Woodside homes for sale

Cole Harbour

Located on the eastern boundary of Dartmouth, Cole Harbour is a 20-40 minute drive to Halifax. Covering a large area of Dartmouth, this is a bustling area with an abundance of shopping.

With a mix of older homes and newer subdivisions, there is a good variety of homes and prices to fit everyone’s needs and price range. The majority of homes in this thriving area are affordable with prices ranging from $150,000 upwards. View Cole Harbour homes for sale

Lawrencetown

The community of Lawrencetown is located on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia and is home to Lawrencetown Beach, a popular destination for beachcombers, sunbathers, kite boarders and surfers alike. With plenty of undeveloped farm land and green space you’ll have no problem finding an unobstructed view of the ocean. Here you’ll find stunning oceanfront homes and a mix of older properties. The majority of the inland homes are in the $200,000 to $300,000 price range. The schools in this area are Atlantic View Elementary, Ross Road Junior High and Cole Harbour High School. Commute time from Lawrencetown to Halifax is approximately 30 minutes. View Lawrencetown homes for sale

Porters Lake

Built around a lake and ocean community, Porters Lake is one of the largest and most popular lakes for recreational boating, swimming, fishing and every other watersport you can think of. At the foot of the Marine Drive tourist area, there’s an abundance of Bed and Breakfasts, restaurants and lobster fisheries.

The area has grown rapidly over recent years with transportation improvements and highway links. The area is a perfect blend of country living not too far from the amenities of Halifax and Dartmouth (20-30 minutes). House prices range from $150,000 for an inland older style home to approximately $350,000 upwards for lakefront or ocean frontage.

Schools in this area are Lakeview Consolidated Elementary or O’Connell Drive Elementary, Gatz Brook Union High and Eastern Shore District High School. View Porters Lake homes for sale

Eastern Passage

Eastern Passage is a mid-sized community on the Eastern Shore of HRM, close to the Shearwater Base – making it a popular choice for military families. The area has several newer subdivisions offering a mix of single family, semi-detached and detached homes. With an easy commute to downtown Dartmouth (10-15 minutes) and a 30-40 minutes commute to Halifax, the area is attractive and affordable. There is a brand new High School due to open in September 2014.  The schools in this area are Tallahassee Community School (Primary – Gr 4), Oceanview Elementary (Primary –Gr 4), Seaside Elementary (Gr 5-6), Eastern Passage Education Center (Gr 7-9) and Cole Harbour High (Gr 10-12). View Eastern Passage homes for sale