Getting to the bottom of your property search

So, you’ve decided to start the hunt for a new home. Is it time to upgrade to something bigger to make room for a few more kids? Time to downgrade now the kids have left the nest? Or maybe your property search is all about looking for an investment to help pad out your super?

Regardless of your situation, there are a lot of factors involved in finding a new home or property, especially if you want something that will be a good decision now and in the future. This is a guide to finding a new home.

Location

Location is everything – ok, maybe not everything, but it is really important, whether you intend to live in the property you are purchasing, or rent it out as an investment.

Researching and finding the right location can take a lot of time, so we’ve put together a few important considerations below so you can complete your research faster, and get to the fun part sooner.

  • Suburb reports: A lot of people, if they can, aim to buy a new place in a city they know and are already comfortable with. By doing this, they understand the suburb reputation, have likely heard about any major developments or nearby infrastructure projects, and probably even have a good idea of facilities like hospitals and schools.

But if you aren’t buying close to home, or you just want to know more about the area you’ve selected, a good place to start is with Domain’s suburb reports – they give some good high-level insights about property in the area. For more ‘peer-review’ style information, try Homely.

  • Suburb growth: If you want to make a smart investment, it’s important you purchase a property in an area that experiences consistent growth, rather than a suburb that is always in decline. There are a lot of great reports and websites that can give you insights into growth areas, like investsmart.

Facilities

The facilities around the area can also make a big difference, not just to how easy it is for you to live in the property, but to the possible resale value later. Type an address into the google map and zoom in on satellite view – have a ‘wander’ around the streets, check out how close schools and hospitals are, and make a note of any other amenities – fitness centres, pools, shopping centres.

Style/building era

Building style is something a lot of people are really particular about. Some buyers even choose specific suburbs for their property search because the suburb is known for a certain style of home. As an example, buyers love areas like Paddington in Sydney for its terrace houses.

The style of your property can have an effect on resale. If your suburb is popular because of terrace houses, and your ultra-modern, geometric home is up for sale, you might find you don’t get as much interest. Keep this in mind when buying.

If you are looking for a new home, we suggest taking your search to sites like urban.com.au, which lists homes being built in a range of suburbs. 

Desired features

If you’ve watched any one of the million home flipping or home buying programs on the lifestyle channels, you know there are just some things most people now think are a must-have. These must-haves will make your property more likely to sell at a good price later, so are worth looking for when you’re buying now. Think about simple things like an ensuite – in many family homes now it’s the norm, and in a lot of renovations of older homes, an ensuite is the second addition considered, after a kitchen makeover!

The factors you consider when conducting your property search can help to create opportunities or limit them. Think about the purpose of your purchase, both now and in the future, and what factors may affect it.