How to find the right location

Buying a property is a huge financial and emotional investment, and when it comes to finding the right one, there is a lot more to consider than just price and features. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for your first home, an investment property, or upgrading to a family home, there is nothing more important than finding the right spot. We are all familiar with the saying, “location, location, location” and in today’s market, we are spoilt for choice. So, how can you tell what suburb is right for you and your needs?

Are you thinking of investing in property?

Like any investment, buying an investment property can come with a certain level of risk. To minimise this risk, it is important to do some research to find potential investment suburbs with a history of good median rent prices and a strong rental yield. Start your research looking at inner city suburbs, properties in areas close to the coast or in reputable school zones. These areas are often sought after and have been known to provide a stable rental future.

What makes up your lifestyle?

When you’re searching for the perfect property for yourself, it is important to find an area that supports the lifestyle you lead. If you work in the CBD and live an active and social life, it would make sense to live in an inner city suburb. On the other hand, if you are settling down and starting a family life with children, you may want an area that is more family orientated.

What kind of amenities do you need?

Leading on from your lifestyle choices, local amenities can help to ensure that an area can support your needs. Do you want to be close to supermarkets, train stations or parks and reserves? Would you like to be close to the ocean or live on a large property with lots of excess grounds? If you dine out frequently, maybe you’d like to be close to cafes, restaurants and bars. These are all aspects to consider.

Do you need to worry about school zones?

If you’re purchasing a property to suit a young family, school zones are incredibly important. People go crazy to buy properties that are in the catchment zones for premium public schools, and it’s important to buy in the right area if you have a particular school in mind for your kids. If you’re looking at properties in unfamiliar suburbs, make sure to check out what schools are included in the catchment area. Also, if your children are currently in primary school, be sure to check which school zones the suburb is in for secondary schooling.

If you don’t need to worry about school zones for your own children, keep in mind that down the line, properties located in good school zones may be of interest to buyers 

Is community presence important?

For some, a sense of community spirit can be a high priority. If you wish to partake in a bunch of seasonal events and have more of a say in your suburb, then do some research on the local community of potential suburbs you’re looking at. Google the local city council for their website which should list upcoming events and give you an idea of key members of the community. Your search should also produce any recent news articles which might give you a mix of different community news.

Are there any future area developments?

Some suburbs might appear drab and outdated at first glance but it is important to look into their plans for future development. Many older areas are in the process of development, modernizing local amenities while older properties in the area are undergoing renovations. The area could look totally different in the not-so-distant future so don’t write the area off completely without looking deeper. Keep an eye out for news regarding new parks, supermarkets or urban hubs. For all you know, you could be uncovering a hidden gem that will grow in value in the future.

Is it the perfect fit?

To ensure that the location is a perfect fit for you and your needs, make sure you try before you buy! Get a real feel for the suburb by visiting the potential home at different times of day – is it difficult to get a park? Is there lots of commuter or school traffic? How long does it take to get around? Do you feel safe walking around the suburb?

Are there any possible additional costs?

Don’t forget to look into other costs that might impact where you buy, such as local council rates or strata fees if you’re looking to buy an apartment or unit. These additional costs can quickly add up throughout the year so it is important to make sure you know exactly what you’re entering into before purchasing.

And how about when you come to sell in the future?

While you need to find an area that suits you and your needs currently, spare a thought for possible resale value in the future. Are you buying in an area that will be popular for others in the future?