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Buying Your Dream Home, Why Location Matters

Posted on 26 May 2014

Location, Location, Location. How many times have we heard those three small words? When it comes to choosing a home, it’s the mantra for many. But what exactly are the benefits of location? Should you be on the hunt for a new home, or investment property, consider the following.

Property value

It’s widely perceived that a home in a ‘good’ location is an effective, long-term investment. The old adage is that it’s better to buy the worst house in the best neighbourhood, than a great house in a less than salubrious area. In this regard, location is integrally tied to property values and is something that every homebuyer should consider. While you may have no intentions at this stage to resell, it may be something that will happen down the track. And while it may be years away, it’s worth understanding that even if you have a spectacular house, if it’s in a bad neighbourhood, it’s likely to be harder to sell.

This is not to say that if you have found your dream home and it’s not in an ideal area, than you shouldn’t buy it. After all neighbourhoods may change over the years and what might be seen as rough and ready now, could become trendy years down the track. Regardless, it is important that you weigh up the pros and cons, consider property values, think about the likelihood of selling in the future, and then determine if the buy is a good thing for you.

So what is a good location?

While ‘good’ may seem a subjective term, there are some elements that make up what most people in general would consider an attractive neighbourhood. These include:

  • Safety – A safe neighboured, with low crime levels will always attract more buyers.
  • Facilities – Convenience is a plus, so consider if the home is close to shops, businesses and/or other facilities.
  • Schools – For families, being close to schools is always a winner.
  • Transport – Access to both public transport and major roads is a key ingredient for many buyers. While the lure of a rural property is enticing for instance, having to travel two hours to work may turn away many prospective buyers.
  • Views – Never underestimate that a window that looks out onto a brick wall may be a turn off for many. People will always pay more for a glorious view of a waterway or rural vista.

And what are the ingredients that add to a ‘bad’ neighbourhood? As above, high crime levels may scare away a number of buyers. And while being handy to major roads may be an asset, being located right on a busy road, by a train line, next to the airport, or even under the flight path, can be negatives. Consider noise from other areas too. Should the property be next to a fire station or hospital with sirens coming and going at all hours, this might impact on your selling power.

Other location matters

Of course the other major factor when considering location is the likelihood of natural disaster. Areas prone to flooding, bushfires or earthquakes are generally less attractive to buyers. While there will always be plenty of people who ‘take a chance’, property values in these areas tend to be lower overall.

Construction and creepy crawlies

So you’ve found the perfect home and it’s in your ideal location? Smart buyers know it’s essential to take a few extra steps before jumping in. As part of the conveyancing process, your conveyancer or solicitor will not only check the contract is in order, they may also confirm that there are no existing tax arrears on the property, and very importantly, check that councils or other government bodies don’t have a vested interest in the property (see the Fair Trading site for more details). If there is any development in the pipeline, you need to know now, and not a few months after you’ve settled in.

The other major point to consider is that your ideal location may also be a prime spot for creepy crawlies. While most people understand the benefits of a property inspection, do remember that a standard building inspection will look at the construction and not for damage caused by termites or other insects. Bugs such as termites know a good thing when they find it, and termite damage may spread easily and be very costly. The Department of Fair Trading outlines what’s involved and what you need to consider when organising both building and pest inspections.

A final word

At Compare Inspections, we not only handle all aspects of building and pest inspections, we can save you valuable time and money, by offering pre-existing inspection reports.  If other buyers have recently inspected a property, there’s no need to do it all again. You can search on our site to see if a report already exists for the property, purchase it at a discount and download it straight away. Alternatively you can order a new report for that property, allow it to be resold and earn back money every time someone buys a copy of that report.


By Darel McBride

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