Choosing a suburb to buy in is a major financial commitment that can be daunting at first. We don’t want to add to your anxiety levels – but buying property is probably the single most expensive purchase in your lifetime, so you really want to get it right.
Wondering which suburb is the right fit for you? Before you commit, there are a range of factors to consider that will help you determine the kind of area you should buy into.
Finding the right location is crucial to creating long-term wealth, so we’ve rounded up our best tips and tricks to help you secure your dream property.
- Buying to live vs buying as an investment
While home ownership is a lifelong dream for many, it’s important to evaluate what is best for your lifestyle and individual circumstances.
Choosing between buying a home or an investment property will depend on a range of factors including your income, the type of property you want to buy and prices – as well as your future life plans. Do you plan to start a family, or do you see your life dramatically changing in the next few years?
Researching rentals can help you work out if your home has the potential to be a viable investment property at a later stage.
Maybe it suits you to be a rent-vestor and rent in an area you like while investing in a suburb poised for growth.
Don’t limit yourself to only looking in a suburb you might want to live in yourself – it can pay dividends to consider an alternate suburb with lower price points that offers the potential for higher rental return and growth.
One of the benefits of buying an investment property is that you can purely focus on the long-term potential of the suburb and remove the emotion from making the decision.
Investing comes down to pure mathematics – examining prices and rental returns and looking at projected growth of the suburb.
Of course, there are also many benefits to buying a home to live in. Living in your own home can mean you are free to renovate to your hearts content and never have to worry about a landlord or lease termination. Feeling secure in ownership is also highly important to many people.
Can you buy a property and still afford the lifestyle you want?
Looking at which suburbs to buy a property in often starts with finding an area you can realistically afford to live in. It’s helpful to investigate the current prices in a suburb first and also know the limitations of your budget.
Online research is your friend – looking at auction results and local listings can help you gauge what prices are like, giving you an idea of where is best to live, within your budget.
Remember a first home is just that. A starting point and a stepping stone. Perhaps consider buying an apartment first and upgrading to a townhouse, duplex or house at a later stage.
Location is key. It could be more affordable to be a quick 10-minute walk or drive from your dream suburb or from the beach. The added plus is those suburbs “just out” of the dream location are often the next hotspots and ripe for growth.
- Consider your future plans
For most Australians, purchasing a long-term home is a high priority, so it’s important to remember your life goals and plans!
Are you planning to keep studying or change jobs? Or is marriage and a family in your near future? Do you want to be close to work and have a short commute? Or is it more important to live close to family and friends?
Clarifying your lifestyle and financial goals will help you pick the right property in the right area.
All these come into play when committing to buying a property, whether to live or invest in. Considering your current and future needs will help you out when deciding which suburb is the right fit for you and can help you avoid costly real estate mistakes.
- Local amenities
No matter where you choose to buy a house, a suburb that has all you need is important. The geographical location of a suburb can have a huge impact on your lifestyle when factoring your daily commute, how long it might take to reach the nearest supermarket or what school your kids will go to.
Access to services is crucial when it comes to deciding where you want to live and when it comes to suitability, proximity to public transport, major motorways, hospitals and medical centres, schools, universities, and shopping centres, may alter you decision.
For some, a 20-minute drive to the shops doesn’t take too much of a toll on the day, but others might prefer a shorter walk to a train station or bus stop.
Does your selected suburb spark joy? For night owls, it’s worth checking out what the nightlife of a suburb is like. Or if you like a cosy spot to enjoy your morning coffee, perhaps you’d prefer an area with some of the best cafes and dining destinations.
- Research growth in the area
While it might seem hard to predict what a suburb’s future will be, you can look at certain indicators to get an idea of what’s around the corner. Buying an affordable property in an up-and-coming area will do you wonders in the long-term, allowing you to ride the wave of future growth.
Signs of an up-and-coming neighbourhood generally include changing demographics and a large proportion of first home buyers. Popular businesses flocking to the area are also a further indicator of gentrification and can signal future growth. We think multiple coffee shops are always a great sign!
- Look for future planned infrastructure
Check out what’s in store for the area you are looking to buy in – there may be some planned infrastructure in the works that could work to your favour!
Urban areas are constantly evolving, and new motorways and express train services can mean dramatically shorter commute times.
Looking for any proposed developments and being aware of them is important when considering how it may affect property prices and your overall quality of living. Maybe the area could be lacking right now but plans for any new urban hubs might make the suburb a hidden gem in the future, so best to keep an eye out for these.
- Consult the experts
Reaching out to real estate agents, buyer’s agents and mortgage brokers can be super helpful when it comes to understanding the property market in the area. They can provide you with tips for buying in a particular suburb as well as answer any general questions you might have. It can definitely take some of the stress out of decision making!
Appointing a buyer’s agent is not only convenient at auctions, but they can complete background checks on the property as well as negotiate with the seller for you and often get you a much better deal.
Whether you’re looking to own and occupy or invest, these experts will give you the low down on price growth in a suburb as well as being able to access subscription only data. These guys are a real wealth of knowledge and experience right at your disposal.
Savannah Lobbe, Client Success Manager, Coposit