Location, location, location. These three words are so often used in real estate and for good reason.
You can renovate a house, but you can’t change its location or your neighbours. So before taking the plunge, it’s imperative to closely consider what you’re looking for in a suburb. Here are some key factors to help narrow down your options and find that perfect match.
Pick the style of suburb that best suits your ideal lifestyle:
Inner-City, Trendy Urban, Family-friendly, and Outer Rural—Australian suburbs can generally be broken down into these four categories.
The Inner-City suburbs are perfect for those who love being in the midst of everything. A glittering night life, theatre, live music, restaurants, entertainment, and modern amenities at your door. If you’ve always wanted to live within walking distance of your office, home and gym, Inner-City suburbs might just be right for you.
If you love nightlife and the city but can’t afford the high cost of living, then Trendy Urban suburbs are your ticket to success. These suburbs are close enough to take advantage of city amenities without having to deal with the stress and slew of expenses that come with them.
Family-friendly suburbs are ideal for bigger families looking for more space. Close to schools and shopping centres, the Family Friendly suburb is a less city-centric option that still includes all the lifestyle essentials, but is larger, more peaceful, and more affordable. If you have kids or pets, need a big outdoor area, and prefer a slow-paced lifestyle with ample parks, playgrounds, and local supermarkets instead of nightclubs and cafes, you’re more likely suited for the Family Friendly suburbs.
The gorgeous landscapes, quiet villages and friendly locals make the Outer Rural area an ideal location for those who are looking for more space and a slower pace of life. Whether it’s the bush, mountain or beach, the Outer Rural areas are a great place to plug yourself in nature and enjoy the fresh air, peace and quiet.
Walkability and public transportation:
A quick & easy way to find out the walkability of a suburb is to check its Walk Score.
Calculated using metrics including proximity to amenities, accessibility for pedestrians, traffic activity and more, it generates a score out of 100 to indicate how “walkable” a suburb is.
Suburbs with a score of 90-100 are considered a “Walker’s Paradise” where daily errands do not require a car, while scores below 50 are considered “Car-Dependant” with all errands requiring a car.
Research shows that people living in walkable areas report being in better health and feeling more content with day-to-day life.
Many factors make a neighbourhood valuable, but few have such an immediate and obvious impact as a good school zone. From primary to high school, parents want to ensure that their children get a quality education in an environment where they can thrive socially. If you have children, or are planning to, deciding where to live is just as much about choosing a school zone as it is about choosing a house.
Child-friendliness and general safety:
However, a child-friendly environment goes beyond providing a quality education. You should also take a look at the parks, playgrounds, and accessibility of the area. Will your kids be able to walk or cycle to school, or visit a friend on their own?
Safety should also be a priority. By simply asking your local police station, you will gain valuable information on your neighbourhood and potential safety measures/programs in place such as Neighbourhood Watch.
If a suburb is up and coming, it could be a great investment. There may be little to do there now, but if all the new developments are completed in the next three years, its value will increase dramatically. Any area with a strong likelihood of growth will likely see an influx in public transport, amenities, and services—all of which could dramatically improve your quality of life and the value of your property.