Finding the suburb that’s right for you

When purchasing property in the city, one of the biggest challenges is finding the right suburb to call home. Identifying the suburb that suits your lifestyle and budget will help you to narrow your search for a property, making the house hunting process that much simpler. But the question is, where do you start?

When looking for the suburb that feels like home, you might be surprised where you end up if you keep an open mind. Factors to consider include your lifestyle, your future plans and your budget.

1 – List your priorities

Purchasing property inevitably involves compromise at some point, but that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice the things that are important to you. Make a list of your priorities and then use this as your yardstick for your suburb search.

Do you want to live in an apartment or house? Is living close to work important for you? Or do you want to buy in a school catchment for your children? Perhaps you want to live on the outskirts of the city in a suburb that has larger blocks. These are all important lifestyle factors to consider.

2 – Identify where can you afford to buy

Once you know the key features you want in a suburb, it’s time to start comparing your budget with suburbs that fit the bill. If your first choice of suburb comes in too expensive, look at neighbouring areas. In most cases, once a suburb booms, nearby areas will generally follow suit. Signs that a suburb is set for growth include new developments and more restaurants, cafes and shops moving into the area.

3 – Spend some time in the area

If you are planning to move to an area you aren’t familiar with, spend some time getting to know the locality. Visit the shops and cafes, take a detour on your daily commute to see what the traffic is like or even rent an Airbnb for a few days to get a feel for the area. Local community newspapers are another great way to get a feel for a suburb.

4 – Research planned developments

Developments are generally a good thing for a suburb, as investment fuels growth in the housing market. If you find a suburb that you think is right for you, do you research to find out whether more amenities will be built in the future. Things like shopping centres, roads and public transport stations will make for easier living.

With that said, new developments may not always be what you are looking for. Let’s say you are moving to a suburb for its quiet lifestyle, for example, but a hospital is going to be built there. While a nearby hospital is convenient, you may wish to look further afield to maintain a quieter lifestyle and avoid the extra activity and traffic that the development will bring to the suburb.

5 – Get to know the property market

It’s a good idea to get a feel for the property market of the area before you start seriously house hunting. Head along to auctions to see how competitive the market is, go to a variety of open homes and talk to as many real estate agents, locals and other buyers as you can. This will help you to gain a snapshot of the market so that you can make offers with confidence once you find the right place.

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