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Sydney’s friendliest family suburbs - April 2020

By Rich Harvey, CEO & Founder, propertybuyer.com.au

Families come in all shapes and sizes, from young parents with toddlers through to older mums and dads with a few teenagers.

What those households want and need in terms of a home can differ depending on a number of things, from age and occupation to personal interests and educational ambition.

But there are common must-haves that each family shares, regardless of who they are.

Families value living close to good schools, it goes without saying. But there’s more to the equation than that, with lifestyle, street appeal, connectivity and community also playing a big part in making a suburb ideal for mums and dads – and their broods.

These are just some of the top areas in Sydney to raise a family.


Balmain is best in show

This historic and picturesque suburb is on the pricey side, thanks to its high-quality housing, Harbourside location and proximity to the city.

But it’s a favourite among families and a prime place to raise kids – if your budget allows. The median house price is $1.9 million while for units it’s $1 million.

Balmain has an appealing village feel, with an abundance of cafes, restaurants and boutiques set along narrow and tree-lined streets. There are some great local parks and, as mentioned, water views galore.

Balmain Public School is highly rated and there are a number of other primary options, including a Montessori. The ferry and bus links with the city and surrounds make it easy for high schoolers to commute to secondary colleges.


Cronulla takes the crown

There’s a reason Sutherland Shire locals call their little patch of Sydney “God’s Country”. It’s absolutely stunning.

The Shire is boxed in by ocean on two sides and forest on the other two, making it a secluded and picturesque part of the world. Sometimes it feels like you might need a passport to cross the bridge to enter.

For families that value the outdoors, the Shire – and its main suburb of Cronulla – make perfect sense. There’s no shortage of beach, park and forest to explore. Suburbs are leafy and friendly. The sense of community is strong.

There’s also an abundance of lifestyle amenities, from fantastic restaurants and bars through to sporting facilities.

The median house price in Cronulla is $1.9 million while for units it’s $790,000. But you can also find incredible value for house in Sutherland itself with median price closer to $1m for a house!

The Shire has a number of great local schools covering both primary and secondary. There’s also a train line direct to the city, meaning families have the option of sending high schoolers to colleges elsewhere.

Pockets of the Shire can be pricey, but there’s a diverse range of neighbourhoods that offer more affordable options for families while still giving access to everything on offer.


Dulwich Hill does the trick

Suggestions for family friendly suburbs tend to focus on Sydney’s east and the Northern Beaches. They’re on the water and have well-regarded schools, so it makes sense.

But the inner-west is an underrated pocket worth exploring. And Dulwich Hill is a wonderful part of the city.

It’s full of quality character homes as well as new and ultra-modern apartment and townhouse complexes. It has a distinct village feel with good cafes and a number of local parks.

The median house price in Dulwich Hill is $1.53 million while for units it’s $740,000.

The suburb is also home to some great local schools, from Dulwich Hill Public to the revered Trinity College, and just down the road from the prestigious Newington College.

Getting to the city is quick and convenient, with a both a train line and light rail line in the suburb. Buses run regularly and driving is feasible, even with morning and afternoon traffic.

While you might not get the ocean mist blowing through in the afternoon, you get a great community for a fraction of the eastern suburbs price.

Other things to look for

There are many great areas in Sydney where families can find their forever home, set in strong and stable communities with the things they want and need to raise their children.

Frenchs Forest in the north is highly sought-after, as is Waverley in the east and North Sydney just over the bridge from the CBD. And then there’s the whole Northern Beaches stretch.

So, what should be on your search list to help narrow the options?

Aside from good schools, nice local amenity and convenient connections to the city, there are some other elements to consider when looking for a family home.

For one, you want to make sure there’s ample storage. As kids grow up, it feels like the amount of stuff they have tends to double every year. Decent-sized rooms with cupboards are a must. So too is a garage for all the bits and pieces they need for weekend sports.

A bit of outdoor space is ideal. For those buying houses, prioritise something on a decent block for both your immediate lifestyle needs and future resale. There’s also more scope to extend the house down the track if you need to.

On that note, having enough room to grow is important. It’s particularly important if mum and dad plan on adding to the family at some point in the future.

But it’s also important for future resale. Let’s say you’ve got one kid and you buy a property that just fits you all in, you’re limiting the interest of buyers down the track who might have two or more children.

Check out noise levels too. Scope out the street at various times of day to see if there are periods when you’ll be drowned out by cars and trucks. Also, look at whether there’s a busy flight path overheard.

There are a range of consideration when choosing a great location for raising your brood. When the time comes to secure the familial home, consider using an experienced property buying professional to help you locate and negotiate on your dream property.


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