Home is where the heart is, or so the saying goes. But home is also really where your house is.
Two significant factors are generally at play when choosing a neighbourhood to call home; maximising your investment and maximising your quality of life.
But how do you ensure you do both? In this article, we’ll take a look at all the considerations you should make when selecting a neighbourhood to call home.
What to look for in the perfect neighborhood
When shopping for your ideal neighborhood, it’s important to remember that there’s no such thing as perfection, and the selection process will be full of compromise. You’ll need to compare the competing areas against one another based on several factors and choose the one that ticks the most boxes, rather than endlessly waiting for the unicorn neighborhood that ticks them all.
To make things a little easier, let’s form the factors at play into the following five groups:
Does this neighbourhood have everything you need? From education to relaxation, the ideal neighbourhood will be one with a wealth of amenities.
Check the potential neighbourhood for its amenities, including:
- Shops and dining options
- Schools and education providers
- Parks and public spaces
- Public transport
- Health providers
Remember, that up and coming areas, like those with an influx of development, may not check every amenities box at the moment, but could very soon. Be sure to check for future developments to get a better idea of what the area will look like in years to come. It could be worth the wait.
Following on from the above, the level of planned amenities can have a considerable impact on the growth in value of your property. This can make new communities incredibly high growth areas - buyers who get in before the area is truly established will see it transform around their investment, adding to its value day by day.
But when weighing up a property purchase, the potential for growth needs to be balanced with the current value. Is this neighbourhood well priced for the area and the present amenities it boasts? What are the current trends for local property prices? And most importantly, can you afford to live here?
Location, location, location; the famous real estate catchcry should always be front of mind.
While the level of local amenities will have an impact on how convenient living in the neighbourhood will be, it’s also important to consider how easy or difficult it is to get to work and school, and to visit friends and family.
No matter whether you’re looking to leave the family abode, raise your own family, downsize as an empty nester or put your feet up in retirement, the safety of a potential neighbourhood will always be one of the most important considerations you make.
While the reputations of neighbourhoods are generally earned, some can be outdated and unfair. It’s better to look up current crime statistics and compare different areas by the numbers. Get an understanding of the local police presence, make note of how well the neighbourhood is lit at night, and ask whether there’s a neighborhood watch group active in the area.
This is another consideration in which newly constructed communities can have an edge, as they will have been designed with community safety front of mind.
Finally, does the neighbourhood feel right? Do you get the warm and fuzzies when you imagine yourself walking these streets, sitting in these parks, and dining at these restaurants?
There’s a lot to be said for instinct and gut feel - we’ve evolved over millions of years to get a sense of whether a situation seems right, and to avoid it if it doesn’t. But more objective measures of a neighbourhood’s atmosphere can include the regularity and popularity of community events, the friendliness of your potential neighbours, and the noise levels at night.
Weigh all of these factors up in an objective and systematic way, and you should begin to get an idea of which neighbourhood will offer you the greatest value and return of investment, as well as the quality of life that you and your family deserve.
No neighbourhood is perfect, but these considerations will help you choose the one that’s closest.