Looking to move? This time can be both extremely exciting and stressful, and often we feel both about the same things! You might be looking for a new suburb to live in because your current location leaves something to be desired in one way or another, but finding a new one to live in can be almost just as stressful as it is exciting. Lucky for you, we have put together a comprehensive list of just about everything you should think about before choosing a new suburb to live in. There’s plenty to consider, so buckle up and dive in to this list of how to choose the right suburb to live in.
First things first, it’s important to list your priorities. It’s way too easy to get wrapped up in a gorgeous house or flat and totally forget about the neighbourhood that it’s in. Sometimes after visiting a new place with a rental property manager, it can be tempting to go on a gut reaction and immediately say you’re interested. For this reason, it’s vital that before you even start looking and getting carried away with your search that you sit down and figure out what’s most important to you.
For example, what comes first in a neighbourhood? Is it safety, or perhaps proximity to work? Are you looking for great schools, or easy access to public transportation? Take some serious time to think about what you want from a suburb, and then rank them from top to bottom of priority.
Let’s go through some of the top priorities you might have.
What are the crime rates?
This one rings especially true for those who are already in bad neighbourhoods. Perhaps you’ve had to recently install CCTV after a recent break-in or scare, or you don’t feel safe walking home at night, or letting your children play outside after dark. Many studies have shown that “bad neighbourhoods”, or rather those filled with crime or substance abuse and drug use have an impact on children’s behaviour.
For this reason, many families find that a safe and welcoming neighbourhood is the top of their priority list when moving to a new suburb. There are usually free tools online to look at crime rates in a neighbourhood, so get studying to ensure your new home is a safe home. If you will be renting in the new suburb, have a chat with the property manager as well to see what kind of safety the building itself has as well. Are there 24/7 locksmiths available onsite, and how are first floor flats secured, are questions you should be asking.
What’s the distance to family and friends?
Moving away from family and friends can be really hard, especially if you’re moving far. Even if it’s just to the opposite side of town, however, it can be just as saddening if you are currently close to everyone. The ease of dropping by for a cuppa or having a reliable neighbour to keep a spare key to your house is of priceless value, so for some, this is an important priority for moving to a new suburb. Consider what you may lose or gain by moving closer or further away to people you love, and factor that in to your decision.
What schools are in the district?
For most families, choosing a suburb in a good school district is extremely important. Many people move purely for this reason. Start with a website like this one to figure out what schools would be in your new area, and then do your research on the available schools to find the one that works best for your children.
How hard will it be to move?
Moving to a further away place will be stressful, so determining how hard it will be to move might have a determining factor in your suburb choice. For example, will you need to hire a long distance moving and storage company to help you out? This can definitely make the move easier, but will cost more than you might have budgeted for in moving.
What is the area like?
Remember to spend time in the area before you commit to a suburb. Get lunch at a local cafe, go for a walk in the nearby park and have a picnic. Visit the supermarket if you can, and see how long of a walk it is to the nearest coffee shop. If these are things you love and are used to now, it’s important that you see if this new suburb will offer the same, or if you can get by without things like restaurants within walking distance.
Are there new builds?
For many, the future resale value of the home is very important. Many with this as the top of their priority list might look in a newly developing area, or new subdivisions. Pay special attention to construction sites to see what’s being built, and perhaps talk to the local council to inquire about any new large development plans.
What kind of access is there?
If you plan on relying on public transportation, this one should be high on your list. Look at your basic routes of going to work or the supermarket, and see how long it will take you from the possible suburb. If you do a lot of travel for work or pleasure, look into how long it will take you to get to the airport as well. While it might not seem as important as things like schools or crime rates, we promise that after a few weeks of spending hours on several buses, you’ll have wished you looked this up before.
Once you’ve completed your list of top priorities, it will likely be a whole lot easier to narrow down the best suburbs for you. Not only that, but with a bit of work in completing your list, you’ll feel much more confident in finding the right area, and secure in whatever choice you make. Good luck with the move!