House Hunting Tips – Choosing Where to Buy

As the old house hunting tip goes, property is all about three things – location, location, location. But what makes one location more suitable than another? And how do you choose the right location for you?

The events of the last 12 months have many buyers reconsidering their priorities and what they want in a home. Some are working from home more and travelling less, so are now preferencing space over proximity to the CBD. Others are wanting to live a more local life and looking for a better lifestyle with easier access to a wider range of services.

This has led to many people looking at new locations they had not previously thought about. Some are looking toward suburban areas for more space and better value for money. Others are considering leaving the city completely and embracing the work-life balance offered by a location like the Central Coast.

Choosing to leave the area that you know and love is a big decision. However, with a little research and some careful consideration, you should be able to find the perfect new neighbourhood.

Could you live there?

When considering a new location, you should first work out whether it suits your needs. It is easy to get caught up in the feel of a place and make a decision you may regret in the long term. Thinking about the practicalities of a place first will help you to manage your emotions and make a realistic decision.

To determine whether you could actually live in an area, you should consider:

  • Commutability: If you still need to travel to work, how long are you willing for that trip to be? Different people have different tolerances for commuting and it’s important to understand your limits. You should also think about your willingness to compromise on travel time for other features (views, space, lifestyle etc.).
  • Affordability: Prices vary between locations, so you should check whether your budget will get you the type of property you need. Local real estate agents will be able to help you understand what your money will get you in the area. They may also be able to recommend neighbouring areas that could be just as suitable, but more affordable.
  • Accessibility: The liveability of a location really depends on how easily you can access the services you use most regularly. For example, if you like doing weekend brunch or bushwalks, you need a location that affords you these luxuries. Similarly, if you have younger children, you will need ready access to quality education options.
  • Saleability: Finally, you should think about buyer interest and how easy it is to sell property in the area. Demand will determine potential capital growth, which is an important consideration in any property purchase. And being able to easily offload a property (if required) will mean you have flexibility if your circumstances change.

Do you want to live there?

Once you have identified an area that practically suits, you should consider how it makes you feel. Ultimately, your emotional reaction to a place will dictate how much you enjoy living there. As such, you should look for an area that seems comfortable and like somewhere you want to spend your time.

The best way to check this is to visit and see what living there could be like. Try going to a local café and taking a walk down the main shopping strip. Visit the most popular attractions in the area and get a feel for the community. Speak to some of the locals and ask them what they love about living there.

When considering whether you want to live in an area, ask yourself these questions:

  • What was your first impression of the location? For most people, first impressions last. They are also a good indication of what your gut feel is. While a bad first impression may not preclude a place, it should be a consideration.
  • Was there a sense of community? An established local culture can make it easier to settle into an area. It helps you better understand the place and its people and gives you a real sense of the local values. It also means there will be plenty of opportunities to get to know your neighbours and to make new friends.
  • Did you see people like you in the area? If people like you live locally, there’s a good chance that place will suit your needs. It generally indicates that the services you require are there and that the area affords the lifestyle you want. It also means there will be people you can connect with and relate to.
  • Can you picture yourself living there? As another old house hunting tip goes, you know a property is right when you start planning where your furniture goes. The same goes for choosing an area – if you can picture your daily life there, it’s probably right for you. That being said, you do need to make sure that it’s a good picture!

Need help deciding where is right for you?

Whether you are considering a new area, or are not sure where to buy, Local Agency Co. can help. Our friendly team knows Sydney and its surrounds and are always happy to offer advice on suitable locations or we can point you in the right direction to follow some experts in the Industry. So, if you need help working out the right area for you, give us a call.


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