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How to research a suburb you’re unfamiliar with

By Andrew Bell

Are you planning on moving city, or just looking to relocate within your hometown? Major suburbs are easy to research, but finding hidden gems of properties in lesser-known areas can be a puzzle for many first time buyers. Knowing how to look at adjacent suburbs can net you a home that is affordable but still close to where you want to be. That said, a suburb can vary just inside its own parameters, and one nice street does not make an ideal place to raise a family or commute in and out of day after day.

Explore the area in person

If at all possible, never buy into a neighbourhood sight unseen. Make several trips on different days of the week and times of day, and ferret out the reality of the suburb you are researching. Familiarise yourself with key aspects of living in the suburb by monitoring traffic, checking out locals, and if relevant visiting doctors, schools etc. Will you need public transport? Medical facility access? Easy shopping? All of these may be factors that will influence your ultimate decision.

Never buy into a neighbourhood sight unseen.

Check out prices in the current market

Attend a few local auctions as a passive observer, and check out the prices – are they ridiculously above asking? That indicates an up and coming suburb with red hot competition, which may put it out of your price range. Lower prices may indicate big changes are coming, so look into potential developments; you don’t want to be stuck in a neighborhood that becomes undesirable because of less than appealing local construction or development.

Look at local commercial news for clues

On the flip side, a home in a slightly “off” neighbourhood may be an excellent long term investment if big players are moving into the area and positive developments are planned. If you notice a lot of renovations, buildings being bulldozed, and big retailers encroaching on the suburb, it may be about to blow up. Getting in on the ground floor means you are buying more than a home; it could be a terrific investment. Skim commercial news to see who is buying industrial and office space in the area.

Once you’ve completed your research on a few suburbs and made a decision about the best one for your future plans, it’s time to get serious about buying. Contact Ray White Surfer’s Paradise and we can help you identify and make an offer on ideal housing that is on the market in your preferred suburb.

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