Besides the property itself, there is one factor that will heavily influence just how much you enjoy your new home: the suburb. Each with its own personality, amenities and flair, a suburb is one of the first major decisions you’ll need to make when looking to purchase a new home. With so many to choose from and factors to consider, we’ve come up with some thinking points to get you started.
What are your priorities?
One of the first things you’ll need to decide is what your priorities are. Are you looking to get the biggest house or apartment for your money? Do you want to be close to family and friends? Are the features of the house more important? These kinds of questions should help you identify the type of suburb you’re looking for, whether it be inner city, urban, family-friendly or regional.
What is your budget?
Look for the same size house with similar features in a rural area and compare it to an urban suburb and you’ll see a shocking difference. Unfortunately, your budget is going to place some restrictions on where you can afford to buy. On the plus side, this will help you find that perfect suburb a lot faster. As a general rule, the closer you are to the city the more expensive it is. If you’re keen on inner city or urban living, you might choose to compromise on size or opt for an apartment over a house in order to stay in an area you like.
Is transport going to be a major factor? For those working in the city, proximity to trains or other modes of transport are often a must. Do you need to be close to a train station? Or are buses going to be enough for where you’ll need to go?
What elements of your lifestyle could be impacted by your choice of suburb? For the foodies among us, being closes to a range of restaurants and cafes is a no brainer. Perhaps you just need a major supermarket nearby and you’re set. If you’re an active person, it might be important to have nice parks, tracks or at least a great gym nearby. Socialites may want to be where the action is, close to bars and pubs. For families, it may be a matter of ensuring childcare or decent schools are nearby.
Are you looking for something long term?
What you’re after now may change over time, so it’s important to consider just how long you predict you’ll stay in your new property. For the young professional, transport and proximity to the city may be important. However, if having kids is a possibility for the near future, you may need to find a compromise that also takes education and childcare into account.
If you consider yourself a savvy investor, you’ll also want to think about the resale value of your property. While the market can often be unpredictable, there are certainly suburbs that consistently show steady growth over time. If you know you’re only in your property for the short term and want to either sell it or rent it out, you’ll need to carefully consider what others are looking for so you can make the most of your investment.