I was 28 and childless when I bought my first house and I have to confess… I didn’t think much past what we could afford and what might suit for the next few years. Fast forward nine years and whole barrage of life change, I’ve realised how quickly kids grow, priorities shift and how exciting a good vacuum really is!
A quick chat with our mates at Century 21 has well and truly opened my eyes to what to look for when scouting up and coming suburbs, leaving me more confident about longer term plans. Here’s what they had to say…
1. Scope the area for a brighter future
I legit thought people were mad when they would ask me which child care centre, primary school and even HIGH school I was going to send my newborn to before he was even eating his first bowls of Farex. But it’s incredible how quickly nappy changes turn into day care drop offs and first school discos!
When you’re scouting a new suburb, check the child care centres and schools around. Zoning restrictions have nearly broken many of my friends wanting their kids to go to the best public schools. The last thing you want to do is consider uprooting your family if you need to make a decision that will best benefit your kids’ education.
2. Suss the byways and highways
Transport options will make the world of difference to your whole family’s lifestyle! Check out the buses, trains and trams on offer in your suburb and purchase your next pad with ease-of-mobility in mind. Even if you use your car the majority of the time, having options to ditch your wheels for a fun-filled event or once the kids are old enough to be a little more independent will change the realms of possibility for your family’s daily commuting schedule. Heaven!
3. The importance of lush surroundings
A nice house is one thing, but the reality is you’ll need to get out and about unless you plan on getting cabin fever. It’s a great idea to check out dog parks, playgrounds and lush parks for picnics, strolls or gatherings close by for the days when you want to spread your wings. The value of having these things just a hop skip and a jump away may just save you your sanity when you can’t bare the thought of piling kids into the car for the hundredth time that day, or when unexpected guests drop by for a catch up that may not fit in your pad.
4. Look for a good support system
As a know-it-all teenager, I rolled my eyes at people who wrote cranky letters to the Editor of The Advertiser about the roads or public areas in their suburb — I swore I’d never be one. Now, as a rates paying adult, I understand the frustration of needing a pot hole fixed outside your house, knowing someone will help replace a stolen bin, or remove an unwanted wasp’s nest. Getting into an area with a council that has a good reputation makes all the difference when it comes to getting good support. Unsure how to find this out? Ask around among people you know in the areas of interest, give the local council a buzz for a quick chat, or even drive through the area and take note of how well-kept it is… all these things give hints about a good local services and how happy you’ll be in an area long term.
5. Sticky beak the figures
Snoop around to monitor pricing in a suburb you like as this gives you good insight into whether you’re looking in an up and coming suburb. You can check what houses in the area have sold for in the past and what they’re going for more recently to get a general idea of whether value is on the increase which might indicate a suburb that’s increasing in popularity and value.
Of course, buying a house takes consideration of a number of things, but hopefully these quick tips get you on track to nailing the suburb of your dreams… and if in doubt, a chat with the friendly crew from Century 21 will do wonders for your confidence about your next house purchase.
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