Are you looking for your first home? While buying your first home can be an exciting experience, it is important you do your due diligence before making any long term commitments. For example, the neighbourhood that the house resides in is an important factor that can significantly influence whether a home is right for you.
When selecting a property, it's important to keep in mind that a house's surroundings are just as important as the house itself. Think about the location, assess the neighbourhood and compare transit times before you start looking for a home to buy. Here are some common mistakes that first-time buyers make:
- Failing to think about the reality of living in a certain location.
Imagine that you're considering a home that can only be accessed by a long staircase. You may think that you can overlook this feature, but imagine lugging groceries up those stairs every week. Will this become overly tiresome once the initial glow of home ownership wanes?
- Relying solely on the reputation of the property.
You may have heard in passing that a certain neighbourhood has a low crime rate. Ensure you do further research to verify the truth. Statistics and reviews conducted by the council can offer a reliable method of assessing how safe a neighbourhood really is. Do your research and make a considered decision rather than trusting rumours.
- Underestimating commute times.
The distance between your workplace and your new home is an important factor considering you'll be making the trip frequently. On paper, it may only be 10km from the home that you're considering buying to your workplace. The reality of the distance may be very different though, as high traffic may cause the 10kms to take half an hour plus to drive.
- Assuming that you can get along with anyone.
Living in a neighbourhood full of people who have clashing opinions is an unpleasant experience. You could even be miserable in a friendly neighbourhood if you don't have anything in common with your neighbours. For example, some conflicts may arise if you're parenting noisy preschoolers and you're in the middle of an aging neighbourhood that values peace and quiet.
The Features of a Good Neighbourhood
So, how can you figure out whether a neighbourhood is the right fit for you? Here are some tips:
- Obtain crime statistics and school ratings in any area that you are considering.
- Drive your potential commute during rush hour to get a feel of how long you'll really spend on the road.
- Explore the neighbourhood and get an understanding of your neighbours before you even start looking at properties in the area. .
- Find out if there are nearby parks, shops and restaurants that you could walk to with your family.
- Keep resale value in mind if you are planning to move sometime in the future.