You’ve decided to take the plunge and buy or rent a new home. But how do you go about choosing the right suburb in which to live? You’ve probably heard the phrase “location, location!” and it’s true in more ways than one – to make the most out of your new home, you’ll want to make sure that it’s located in a suburb that’s right for you.
Below are some tips that will help you in making an informed decision about choosing a location you’ll be delighted to call home.

What kind of lifestyle do you want?

Probably the biggest factor in choosing which suburb to live in is the kind of lifestyle that you want. If having a large property and a big backyard is important to you, then the suburbs are your most likely choice.

If, on the other hand, you’re happy living in a small space but want to be close to all of the action, then an inner city suburb is going to be high on your list. If you’re buying, you might want to take a long-term approach: do you plan to own pets, have children, or move jobs? If so, you may need to look at the proximity to facilities such as parks, schools and daycare, and public transport.

What’s your budget?

This one ties in with the area above, and will no doubt be informed by it. You might want that huge house in the burbs, but your budget might mean that you need to look somewhere a little smaller, or a little farther out.

Be realistic about what you can afford and what you need, and determine what you’re happy to compromise on, as well as the places where there’s no room for argument. For example, you might be able to save some serious cash by living in a less swanky part of town – and you might be fine with that. Or perhaps you have your heart set on a particular postcode, but are willing to live in high density housing to make it happen

Keep an eye on the market as well, as prices can fluctuate, meaning that you might be in a better position to purchase in a few months’ or even years’ time. Whatever the case, knowing the limits of your budget is an important part of choosing the right suburb for you.

Do the numbers!

Many real estate websites now provide solid statistics and analytics about potential suburbs, allowing you to get a firm idea of exactly what a suburb is really like – and allowing you to narrow down your options when choosing the right suburb.

Real estate listing sites now provide a breakdown of the average cost of a suburb, as well as handy pointers about your proximity to resources and infrastructure such as train stations, schools, restaurants, shops, entertainment options and more. These can be invaluable in informing your decision.

Hit Google maps, then hit the streets

Google mapping your suburb-to-be is a good way to get a feel for what it’s like, and can be invaluable in orienting you in terms of where things are, the distances involved, and whether there are any surprises in the area that your real estate agent might have glossed over.

Once you’ve gained a solid feel for the area, check out the online listings of properties in the area to see what they’re like – and if they appeal, do a test run by spending some time driving or walking through the area and getting a feel for whether it’s right for you.

Choosing the right suburb for you is a personal decision, but by figuring out what’s important to you and your family, and ensuring that you’re informed about the options you’ll be in a great position to find the perfect suburb to live in.