Checklist: What you should think about before buying a home.
Location, location, location. It’s been the mantra of home buyers for decades. But what exactly should you be looking for? We explain the five key factors to weigh up – some of which you may not have considered.
Property values should be the first consideration for any suburb you’re thinking of buying into. If prices are beyond your budget, you could be wasting valuable time checking out properties for sale.
Getting an idea of property prices is straightforward enough. Plenty of online property listing sites provide suburb profiles with median values. Or take the smarter option and book an appointment with an Aussie Broker to receive a free property and suburbs report.
While you’re there, your Aussie Broker can crunch the numbers to let you know how much you may borrow. Together with property price data, you have the perfect combo to decide which suburbs you can comfortably afford to buy in.
It’s a no-brainer that your suburb should let you enjoy a decent lifestyle. But the ideal lifestyle will vary from buyer to buyer.
Draw up a list of what matters to you – be it a thriving foodie scene, nearby parklands for bush walking, access to the beach or water views, or just being close to friends and family. Rank your preferences from most to least important, and look for suburbs that meet at least the top factors on your wish list.
Even if you don’t have kids, schools can have an amazing impact on suburbs. A study by the Melbourne Institute found a good quality school can add an extra 3.6% to local property values. That makes the reputation of neighbourhood schools something to bear in mind. Even if the pitter patter of tiny feet isn’t on your immediate horizon, it could impact the value of your place over time.
Buying in a suburb with an above average crime rate can do more than threaten your physical welfare. It can also make your home harder to sell down the track.
Studies show a high crime rate is the number one deal breaker for 75% of home buyers. Local crime levels can also impact your hip pocket through higher premiums on home insurance.
Get a feel for local crime rates by researching the area’s crime statistics, which are available on state police department websites. Walking around a suburb at different times of the day and night can also give you a good feel for how safe you feel in an unfamiliar neighbourhood. It can help you see if a seemingly quiet suburb has a dark underbelly.
5. Transport and infrastructure
Time spent commuting to work can eat up a good chunk of your day, and with Australians living an average of 15.6kms from their place of work, it’s important to look for a suburb with good transport links.
It’s about more than bus or train timetables though. With 78% of Aussies driving to work, it makes sense to consider the infrastructure of any suburb you plan to buy in – easy access to motorways and freeways can cut commute times and fuel bills.
Don’t just look at the existing infrastructure. Check out plans for any new developments as these can have a big impact on a suburb’s potential for capital growth. In the last five years for instance, Bringelly and Kemps Creek in Sydney’s west have notched up capital gains of 170.1% and 166% respectively, both driven by the announcement of nearby Badgerys Creek as the site of Sydney’s second airport.
You may also be interested in Is a new suburb the right move for you?, Try before you buy: What you should know before moving and Can I use my broker if I buy or move interstate?