Buying your first home is an exciting feeling but before you sign on the dotted line there is a lot to consider. You need to think about the kind of home you want, the type and size of mortgage that is appropriate and, of course, where you want to live!
To make the process of selecting a suburb easier, here are some of the factors to think about:
Your budget will largely dictate what suburb you can afford. The quickest and easiest way to find out how much you can borrow is to visit an online lender and apply for a home loan pre-approval. Once you know what you can pay you can start searching for a home without wasting time on homes that are in the wrong price bracket. Who knows, you may find you can buy in a better location than you thought!
Buying a property is a major investment - the biggest of most people's lives. For this reason, it's important to consider if homes in the area are likely to increase in value. Ask yourself if neighbouring suburbs are highly sought after, if the suburb is being improved or "gentrified" by new residents, and if the infrastructure is being improved. All of these factors will tend to gives values a boost over time.
Every neighbourhood has a different personality. This even extends to streets, where some can have a bad reputation. You can get a feel for the safety and personality of the area by searching relevant websites and community forums, chatting with locals, and having a good look around.
Consider how you would get to work from the suburb and how long it would take. Length of commute is a major factor in your quality of life. It is also a major expense. If the home is a long distance away you will cop the double whammy of lost time and extra expenses which negate its positive features.
It’s a good idea to buy a home with good access to key facilities such as parks, supermarkets, shopping malls, hospitals, schools, and public transport. The closer they are, the easier life is going to be.
Choosing where to buy is a big decision but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. Do your online research, get your home loan pre-approved, and visit the location at different times of the day to get a feel for the area. That way you won't be left regretting an impulsive purchase.