As a first home buyer, it can be difficult to decide where to buy. In New Zealand we have a tendency to look for the best house, but not necessarily the best location. If you have ever heard the old adage “buy the worst house on the best street” you are likely to have some pretty good guidance along your real estate journey. Buying in a great location can be the best thing you do to improve capital growth, but you don’t want to forget about your lifestyle too. You need to find a neighbourhood that will allow you to live the lifestyle you want, and depending on where you are at in life, your needs will vary.
So, if you’re about to start your real estate journey and don’t know where to start, choose a suburb and consider the neighbourhood. These are the things you should be looking for…
What local shops and facilities are in the neighbourhood? You don’t want to drive for more than five minutes to pick up bread and milk from the local store so work out how far away it is. Then for bigger food shops, where is the nearest Countdown or Dairy? Work out how far away services and facilities are that you need (including a GP!) and how far you are willing to travel to get them.
Parks and leafy areas are classified as greenspace and are becoming increasingly important when choosing a home. Not only do they give a neighbourhood a lovely atmosphere, they add some real value to your lifestyle by allowing you to enjoy plenty of outdoor activities. In Whangarei we have plenty of beautiful parks and beaches so consider which you’d like to spend time at.
What is the age and family style of the population? If you have young children, you’d want them to have friends to play with locally and likeminded people living close by. While you’re searching for a property, you can ask your real estate agent to research what kind of people live in a suburb and ensure they’re the right people for you.
Community facilities can create a significant lifestyle advantage, so think about things like playgrounds, community pools and libraries. They are wonderful resources and meeting places for locals.
How long are you willing to commute for each day to work? You don’t want to be driving for more than your bargained for so test a peak-hour drive before you decide to make sure you know what to expect. Also consider the public transport options nearby so you know what your options are.
If you have kids, you’ll want to make sure you are near good quality schools that suit the education plans for your kids. You can search for schools in Northland by clicking here.