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Choosing the right suburb to live in

May 7th 2014

One of the great things about Melbourne is the diversity and uniqueness of each suburb. Whether you are renting or buying, it’s worth the time to research the suburb you are considering to ensure it meets your needs and you will fit in well with the community.

We’ve complied a few tips to help you choose the best suburb for your needs.

Do your research

The best advice we can give you is to seek some sound financial advice before you start looking; that way you will know your budget and can start looking in an affordable area. You should know the general area well and be able to easily identify where the nearest ammenitites and police station are located. This kind of information can be found on local council and the Victoria Police website.

Profile your ideal neighborhood

The suburb you choose to live in should reflect your lifestyle. We don’t recommend you fall in love with a dream home if the surrounding area doesn’t meet any of your needs. Create a lifestyle checklist and make sure the property ticks all the boxes before you buy. Consider the following:

 – What kind of lifestyle do you lead? If you have children or are planning on having them then your needs will be different to people without children

 – What type of home would you like to live in? Take a look at the type of homes in the area. Are they mostly apartments or houses with big backyards?

– What is the school zoning and are there good schools in the area? Even if you don’t have children, desirable school zoning can have an impact on property prices

– Consider the commute. Is public transport, proximity of major roads and parking adequate?

– Are the nearby ammenities adequate? You should consider the shopping centres, doctors’ clinics and sporting facilities and parks in close proximity

– If you’re sociable, you may like to be surrounded by good cafes and restaurants

– It’s worth thinking about what you don’t want in your neighborhood as well. If you aren’t a fan of late-night noise then stay away from areas with universities or nightclubs nearby.

Think strategically

Before you buy, it’s important to establish your long-term goals. Consider how long you are planning to reside in the house. If it is only short-term, look at suburbs that are likely to yeild a considerable return when you sell. These surbs will generally have a steady appreciation in median house prices over a prelonged period of time. The Real Estate Institive of Victoria releases updated median house prices each quarter.

If you are planning to live in the area long-term, look at suburbs that will meet your predicable future needs. For example, a growing family will need nearby primary and secondary schools as well as sporting facilities and public transport.

Take a look at median house prices

When you research the market, you might be surprised by the suburbs that are performing well. In the last 12 months the eastern suburbs of Melbourne have experienced a considerable appreciation in house values.

In the end, the most important thing is that the property and suburb you choose meet most of your needs and will make you feel at home; if you can visit the area to get a feel for it all the better, and reinforce your decision with sound financial advice.

For more information on how to choose the right suburb to live in check out:

Fletchers Suburb Guide

How to tell a suburb is right- REA