Have you found your ideal home but you’re not sure about the suburb? Then chances are it might not be the right move for you. Your Home investigates some of the top mistakes buyers make when it comes to choosing the right suburb.
Not looking at all aspects of the property
When searching for your dream home, it’s not just about inspecting the rooms and outdoors areas. You need to take many other neighbourhood issues into consideration.
- what the neighbours are like;
- if there’s the possibility of aircraft noise;
- what local traffic levels are;
- parking availability;
- if there’s nearby industrial activity;
- what developments might be planned for the nearby area; and
- what the rest of the houses in the street and nearby areas look like.
By looking into these things you will get a feel for the type of area you are moving into and whether you can see yourself living in those surroundings.
Tip one: Visit the property and surrounding area at different times of the day and observe what’s happening. The last thing you want is one of the above factors affecting your quality of life once you’ve moved in.
For instance, a young Sydney couple were about to purchase an ideal property, which was close to the airport but away from the flight path, only to discover (after visiting the property late at night) that they could hear ground-level airport noise which would have impacted greatly on their standard of living.
Tip two: Contact the local council to see what developments have been approved for the nearby properties or streets.
Tip three: Try to find out as much as you can about your new neighbours. Do they have noisy dogs? Is their house neat and tidy? Be following the first tip, you will be able to make modest observations.
Tip four: If aircraft noise is a concern, you can ask for more information on aircraft noise levels from Air Services Australia, but nothing beats going and standing in the area at certain times of the day.
Not looking at the suburb as a whole
If you find yourself in a situation where you are moving further and further away from your preferred suburbs just to get those extra bathrooms and bedrooms, you need to stop and consider is the extra space really worth it? Will you be happy in a bigger house but not the ideal suburb?
The suburb you move into will become a big part of your life so it’s important you make the right decision when it comes to choosing an area to buy into.
When compiling your list of suitable suburbs, ask yourself some of these questions?
- Are there adequate transport facilities?
- Will you have to commute far to work?
- Do you like the surrounding area and the facilities it offers? Are there adequate amenities nearby for your needs?
- Do you feel you could make friends in the area?
- Can you see yourself settling into the suburb?
- If you plan on starting a family, are there enough related services nearby, such as parks, childcare centres, hospital, schools?
Tip one: Drive around the areas you’re interested in and get a feel for what it’s like to live there. Check out the local facilities and services on offer.
Tip two: Check the statistics. Demographic trends, crime statistics, property values and data on schools and employment build a solid picture of a suburb and its make-up.
Check out how suburbs rate on Your Home’s price-mapping tool.
Not investigating commute times
The last thing anyone wants is the ideal home but a two-hour commute to and from work each day. What might seem the ideal set-up can soon turn into a nightmare if half your life is spent travelling.
And if you want to be close to family and friends this also needs to be a major consideration.
Tip: Once you’ve decided on certain areas, do test runs and see how long it would take you to get to work. Be sure you drive or catch public transport at the times you would normally travel. This can be a real eye-opener as to what you would be dealing with each day.
Not the right services and facilities for you
Depending on what’s important to you and your lifestyle, you’ll need to look at factors like:
- whether there are shopping and retail outlets in the area;
- what the medical services are like;
- if there are parks and other recreation facilities;
- how good (or bad) the public transport is;
- if there are childcare facilities, preschools and schools in the area;
- what arts and community facilities are available, such as libraries; and
- what other lifestyle services are available, such as cafes and restaurants.
Tip: You need to weigh-up what’s important to you. Is a cafe lifestyle high on your agenda or would you rather be closer to good schools and recreational facilities?
Remember, you’ll live with your new suburb’s people, facilities and vibe for years to come so it’s important to consider all of the above factors when it comes to choosing the right neighbourhood for you.