5 steps to future proof your next home purchase
By Rich Harvey, CEO & Founder propertybuyer
Five Steps to Future Proof Your Next Home Purchase
If you’re considering a change of address this year and have been putting off the decision because it’s too hard to find something that ticks all the boxes, then consider these five critical factors that will help future-proof your next move. Some simple but careful planning can mean all the difference in finding a home that will suit your needs for the next 5 to 10 years+ rather than having to move again in a few short years because of a change in circumstances.
- Consider your commute
Living in a metropolitan city such as Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane means that we all have to put up with traffic headaches getting to and from work each day. Consider the distance you need to travel and what public transport connections are available in your target suburbs to make the commute easier and less stressful. Obviously, your budget will largely dictate how close to the city you can afford, but also consider the time and cost that each extra kilometre will take every day of the week in your commute. In Sydney, new train lines, light rail and bus lines are coming on line soon which should make some outer (and inner) suburbs more desirable.
- Growing pains
So, this is where you think about some family planning.in the next three to five years is your family going to be expanding, stabilising or downsizing? Are the in-laws or grandparents moving in? Are twins on the way? Whatever your family situation, it often pays to have an extra room for all sorts of reasons - space to grow, store toys, accommodate guests or work from home. If you have teenagers, think about providing a hang out space for friends or a games room. It’s great for both parents and teenagers to have some separation at times. But you also need a gathering place in the home – the hub near the kitchen where you can all chat, entertain, or share the days happenings. Think about the type of floorplan that will work both now and when you have three kids under 7 years old. Perhaps you can renovate or add a second story in a few years- or maybe have space for a granny flat in the backyard. Consider how much maintenance might be required on your chosen home – you don’t want to have to spend every weekend repainting and repairing. Also, think about your car parking needs – as the family grows so do the amount of car spaces required!
- Family and Friends
When choosing your next abode, think about your social network and how much time you like to spend with family and friends. If you are a new parent, having the loving support of family living close by (especially grandparents) is a major benefit. While it’s been said the road to a friend’s house is never far, in reality, having your friends nearby and being able to drop in for a coffee or a drink is a luxury if they live nearby. The rich tapestry of life is enhanced when you can connect strongly with your social network and not have to drive 2 hours across town.
One of the major factors for your own contentment and happiness is the lifestyle appeal of the suburb where you live. In searching for your ideal home, consider the overall appeal of the suburb. What does it offer in terms of amenities? How close to cafes, restaurants, entertainment, schools, beaches, waterways, sporting facilities, bushwalks etc. One of the trends I regularly see as a buyers’ agent is that parents like to live within the school catchment for their kids during the education years, then once the kids have flown the nest, they relocate away from the leafy burbs closer to the city or the beach where they can walk to cafes and shops and be closer to the action. Even if you can’t afford the ideal suburb, look at the surrounding areas to see what your budget can afford.
- The Vibe
Last but not least is the “vibe of the thing” to quote a great line from the movie “The Castle”.
The vibe of a suburb can play a major part about how you feel living in a particular location.
Some suburbs seem to have the best of everything and almost pulsate a vibe – think Bondi or Manly (but perhaps not quite the same vibrant energy as New York!). You might be a young professional wanting the inner-city vibe of places like Surry Hills or Glebe where you can dine out every night to avoid cooking and washing up. Or you might be an aspiring couple with a few kids wanting a safe family friendly suburb with good schools. Or perhaps you are seeking a prestige suburb like Mosman or Vaucluse with stately homes and privacy.
Whatever your preferences just remember the old adage in real estate – Location is paramount. Once you have bought the home – you can’t move it. Take the time to carefully consider both the location and the features that will future-proof your next home.
If you’d like a helping hand identifying which suburbs will suit your lifestyle needs, or help finding your next home, please contact my friendly team of Buyers Agents who would be glad to lend a hand. Tell us your property brief or call us on 1300 655 615 today.