Finding the perfect home is an exciting yet complicated process, and many of us get so caught up finding the perfect style of home with a kitchen we love, that we forget to consider the other factors which will affect the value and livability of a home. Wouldn’t it be awful to fall in love with a house, buy it and then find out your neighbours are up blasting music every night until the police show up? What if your street becomes a main thoroughfare of traffic during the school semester? To avoid buying a home with these kinds of predicaments look into these five factors before signing on the dotted line.
1. Crime Rates
Just because the particular street a house is on isn’t run down and doesn’t feature bullet proof windows doesn’t mean that crime isn’t a problem. Check up on the crime rates in the area either by looking online or checking with the local authorities. Myboot.com.au offers free profiles and crime statistics of suburbs in Australia. News websites are another good source for looking up crime.
2. Noise and Traffic
A Street may be nice and quiet when you visit it in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday, but it’s important to see what the street is like at all times of day and on the weekend as well. It could be traffic is awful at certain times of the day, the neighbours are really loud at night or that all chaos breaks loose on the weekends. Pay attention to traffic patterns around the neighbourhood as well by driving the route you would take to get to work or the grocery store. Notice if a nearby school, church or airport will create extra noise or traffic for you as well.
Even if you don’t have kids now, it’s important to look into the local school district in case you do have kids in the future and because good schools keep property values up. The Australian provides a tool to search primary and secondary schools in Australia to find out information on student demographics as well as test scores. Talk with local residents about the schools as well, as numbers can’t tell you everything.
Transportation is another important factor, as you don’t want to feel limited by your homes location, or have to tackle long multi-transfer commutes to work every day. If good public transport is important for you, check to see if there are bus stops and train stations near the house. Find out if those routes can get you to where you need to go easily. You may also want to look into how many facilities you can easily walk to from the house, as well as check out bike trails and lanes.
5. Public Amenities
Finally, be sure to check out the public amenities to see if the neighbourhood you are moving to is well maintained. Are the streets cleaned and maintained? Are there sidewalks? Does the local library have a good selection of books? How close are the police and fire stations? These, along with any other public services which are important to you, are all things you will want to look into.
Ultimately, the neighbourhood a home is in is just as important if not more so than the features of the home you buy. After all, many elements of a home can be changed, but there’s not much you can do about the neighbourhood.