Tips to know a suburb is booming before you buy

Location! Location! Location! That’s what it’s all about when buying your ideal home. How close is the nearest park or grocery store? Is there somewhere you can walk the dog? Can your kids walk to school easily and meet other kids in the neighbourhood? There are so many things to consider when looking to buy a new home.

Whether you’re looking to buy in an up and coming location, a family friendly zone or an investment property for university students, have a quick read of our guide to finding the right property location.

How to know where to buy property

Depending on where you live you might have quite a large list of potential locations to choose from.

Start by using our InfoChoice calculator to narrow down where you can afford to live. The calculator’s first tab helps you work out how much you can afford to borrow. Then, open up the second tab (at the bottom of the calculator) and using the estimate of how much you can borrow, simply enter in your details and click the green ‘Where can I buy?’ button. The calculator will give you a list of suburbs to consider. Now you have a starting point to search property listings.

But there are some other ways to find the next up and coming suburbs near you. If you’re prepared to do some research, consider looking into the following:

• Property prices: Look at how property prices have fluctuated in different areas. If you notice prices are steadily increasing, this is typically a sign the area is about to get busy.
• Infrastructure: Keep an eye out for any major infrastructure projects happening. This can be an indication that the government is expecting major growth in these areas. Consider new roads, schools, shopping centres and property developments in areas that aren’t yet too busy.
• Supply and demand: Like any other product or service, the way to really know if a suburb is booming is to understand the supply and demand of properties. Are there a lot of empty houses in that suburb? If so, it’s probably not about to get busy. If people are buying into the suburb quickly, start getting your finances in order, it’s a sign that people want to live there.

What to keep an eye on

Now that you’ve narrowed down your potential property locations, there are a few other things to consider.

• Schools: If you have children at school or who are about to start school, find out which schools are in the area.
• Shopping centres: Aside from access to grocery stores, butchers or farmer’s markets, how close is the nearest shopping centre? Travelling too far for essentials, or even recreational shopping, can grow to be a bit of a burden over time.
• Public transport: How close is the nearest public transport? Before you even consider putting an offer in, find out what your local public transport routes are.
• Parking: If you own a car, find out if you’ll be able to park on the property. This isn’t usually an issue with house (although parking might be limited), but if you’re buying an apartment you might need to park on the street.
• Parks: How close is the nearest park to walk Mr. Fluffy? If nature is an important consideration for you, have a look at a map to find out if there are any nearby walks you can take.
• Bars and cafes: Do you like to head out for brunch on Sunday morning or have a few drinks after work close to home? Find out what types of bars, cafes and restaurants are available in your potential new suburb. But keep in mind, if you’re looking to buy in area about to gentrify, these places might not be open just yet.
• Internet connection or NBN: This may seem like a must for most locations, but what about the internet? If you’re thinking about moving to a new suburb, it might be worthwhile checking if they have the broadband infrastructure. Checking through NBN Co will give you a good understanding of what’s available and where.

Alongside these factors, don’t forget to ask the real estate agent questions when attending open homes to get a better feel for the suburb.

Finding a suburb that suits your lifestyle

The next important consideration is finding an area that’s right for your lifestyle. If you have a young family, you probably don’t want to live across the street from the trendy new club. But if you’re a young professional, you might prefer to live in an inner-city location, so you’re close to all the new cafes and restaurants.

Before you start your search, take some time to sit down and write a list of all the important things you want near your house. But keep an open mind, as you might not be able to find a property that ticks every single box. Consider prioritising your list to help you make your decision.

Buying a home to live in or to rent out

If you’re in the market for an investment property you should still consider all of the above. Even if you’re not going to live in the property, somebody will; that person will care about the quality of the property and its location.

The only extra thing to consider is the type of tenant you’re likely to attract with each property. If the property is near a university, you’ll likely attract students. If it’s out in the suburbs near a nice school, you’ll probably rent to a young family with kinds. Keep these things in mind when looking at each property.

Really take the time to look at your property from the eyes of a potential tenant. What might they want in the surrounding regions or from the property itself? If you’re unsure about the type of tenant you might attract, have a chat with the real estate agent at the open house and take a quick peak at what other properties in that area are available for rent.

Now that you’ve narrowed down your locations, start comparing home loans today so you know exactly what your budget is when you start looking at property listings.

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