With the property prices currently going through the roof, young families are left with limited choices when it comes to choosing a suburb to live in. It doesn’t matter if you are buying or renting, the truth is the sale and rental prices are often determined by the area itself.
Let’s face it, major cities such as Sydney and Melbourne are currently experiencing a surge in demand. Everyone wants to live in one of these 2 capital cities in Australia. Why? It is close to everything and has basically anything a family needs to live a happy lifestyle.
This lifestyle however comes with a hefty price tag, especially if you planned to live somewhere close to the CBD. Thankfully, Sydney is a very convenient city with infrastructures set up for easy and fast access from one suburb to another. This allowed younger families to move into the outer regions (e.g Western Sydney) where prices are more affordable.
So how can you determine if a suburb is right for you and your family?
Here are few tips to help you out.
Work & Travel Time
This is perhaps one of the most important factor all young parents should consider when choosing a suburb to buy or rent for their family. Work is what provides food and shelter, but if you have to travel 2 hours everyday to and from work, then this constant routine can drain a lot out of you.
The question to ask yourself is:
Can I really do this every working days for years to come?
If not, then maybe living a bit closer to work may well justify the extra price. Petrol prices are not cheap these days and travelling cost even via public transports do add up. So take out the calculator and do the sums. You may be surprised that the costs may just work out the same at the end, but with travel time greatly reduced.
Many large companies are shifting their offices to the outer regions and while this may be beneficial to the company’s long term growth and expenses, it could really ease some of their workers as well, who may be living in these regions. So if you’re one of them, then perhaps it’s a good time to ask your company and see if there are opportunities near you. You just never know…
Nearby Childcare Centre
Having a child can be both an exciting and stressful experience. There are so much to think about especially if you currently don’t own a home. Regardless if you’re looking to buy a place or to rent one, if both parents are expected to work full time, then wouldn’t it be that much easier if you have close access to childcares near you.
Childcare is one of the major costs of raising a child in Australia, although there are government rebates for certain families. Now if you were to travel extra distance to pickup your kids after work, then that’s extra costs and time involved. Luckily, most suburbs these days have childcare centres but it pays to have several inside a suburb, otherwise the waiting list could be fairly long.
Supermarket & Groceries
An absolute necessity for any families would be a supermarket where they can get food, groceries and other household items. That’s why it is always better to find a suburb where they have major supermarkets or at least a small one where you can purchase common goods.
While this may not be a problem for people who are driving cars as you can generally find one or more grocery stores in the surrounding suburbs. But if you don’t drive, then this could be a big hassle travelling to other areas only to carry several bags of fruits, vegetables, meats and snacks back to your home.
Finding A Good School
Education change lives! Yes…we’ve all heard this saying before and it couldn’t be more true in today’s society. Having a good school is the first step to a great and better life. That’s why so many parents are focused on getting their children into the best schools possible.
But…did you know that some public schools will only accept students who live in the same area?
Yes, this is calculated in terms of the distance between your home and the school location in what’s called the “zone”, which is the boundary drawn and setup by the school authority. So unless you’re putting your child into private schooling or Catholic education which mostly only requires money to get in, otherwise your best chance of getting your child into a good public school is to live inside their “school acceptance zone”
To learn more about attending Sydney schools, visit NSW Dept of Education for more information.
When you have a family with young kids, you want them to enjoy the outdoor nature and playfulness of the Australia suburban parks. From the lovely sunshine to the colourful playgrounds surrounded by beautiful green grass and tall trees that’s maintained well by each dedicated council in the area. You want them to experience all the joy that these outdoor facilities brings into their youth.
Luckily, Australia is a beautiful country with lots of leafy parks hidden inside many suburbs. So unless you live in a rural area, you can easily find one around your neighbourhood. If outdoor activity is a thing you wish to promote to your children, then living near one would certainly help your effort in that regards. Imagine walking down to the park on a beautiful weekend with your little ones, instead of driving in a car and looking for parking spaces…you get the point!
While the above 5 points contains the basic criteria, there are many other factors that you should take into account when deciding on a suburb to live with your family. These includes but not limited to the following:
Crime Rates – Let’s face it, the last thing you want for your family is to live in a street where there are many crimes happening, especially where it involves drugs, alcohol and violence. While these types of social issues happens everywhere no matter where you live, but you’ll still want your family to live away from these problems as furthest as possible.
You can get a good idea of the crime rates by visiting the NSW Crime Mapping Tool. This is a good tool which allows you to see which area has the most crimes sorted by different categories such as robbery, assault, domestic violence, theft and more.
Community Culture – Everyone knows that Australia is multi-cultural country with a great diversity of ethnic backgrounds. This way of life has transformed some of the suburbs with a sense of cultural influence.
For example, suburbs such as Hurstville and Chatswood are known to have a high population of people with Asian background, mainly China. Whereas suburbs such as Lakemba and Punchbowl has a high number of residents with middle eastern background, namely Lebanese.
This cultural environment can seen by the local businesses and the crowd surrounding the areas. So if cultural differences is an issue for you, then you may want to spend some time in the suburb to get a sense of whether or not you will enjoy living there.
Traffic Conditions – One of best ways to experience what the traffic is like for a particular suburb is to take a test drive during the peak hours. Generally the peak hour traffic is between 7am-9:30am in the morning and 5pm-6:30pm in the afternoon.
Shopping & Entertainment – Having a large shopping centre close by can truly make your life more convenient and enjoyable. This is especially true if the shopping mall in your suburb comes with a cinema, bringing never ending streams of entertainment for the whole family.
Statistics has also shown that suburbs with a large shopping centre tend to do better in terms of house price. Apart from good schools, this is an important key factor that property investors look for when buying their investment properties. So if you’re planning to buy a house or an apartment in Sydney, then you may want to take this into consideration.
Sports & Fitness Venues – As most Australians are becoming more and more health conscience, we’ve noticed a rise in the number of gyms and fitness centres opening up in numerous suburbs.
So if you’re one of those who enjoys exercise and keep fit, then wouldn’t it be nice to live in an area that has adequate facilities to accomplish those goals?
As you can see from this post, there are many factors that can affect your decision when it comes to choosing a suburb to live or settle down in Sydney. The most important point, however, is to understand that everyone’s situation and circumstances are different!
So before you decide to make a commitment to a local area, be sure to take your own personal circumstances into account and see whether all these little elements will affect you or your family in the long run.
Always discuss with your family member, whether it is your wife, your girlfriend, your spouse or your children. Allow everyone to have a voice and then ultimately make a decision as a family. This will ensure that everyone is happy and will avoid any unnecessary conflict later down the track.