Buying a property is an exciting prospect; however, choosing where to buy can be daunting.
It’s advisable to think long and hard about what’s important to you. Is it the accommodation, the location, the surrounding amenities or the opportunity for growth? Writing a list of must-haves is a great place to start; it’s also an excellent way to ensure you remain true to yourself when searching.
A debate that often divides people is whether to buy in a new estate. Estate living presents fabulous opportunities, however, it’s not for everyone. Here are a few points to consider.
Location and amenities
Affordability of new estates makes them a popular choice for young families. There’s also likely to be abundant playmates for your children and new friends at similar stages in the life-cycle for you!
Many new estates are located on suburban fringes which may not be ideal for people working in, or near the city, however, with more flexible working arrangements becoming prevalent, this may not be the consideration it once was.
Public transport may be lacking which means you’re reliant on driving at least part way to work if you do have to commute and if you have children, it means they’re fully reliant on you playing taxi. You also need to consider proximity to key amenities which may be a considerable distance from home.
In saying this, numerous estates are being built as ready-made hubs offering child care, schools, supermarkets and cafes. Some have parklands, playgrounds, lakes and walking tracks; others have future plans to include transport services as the area’s population grows. These settings often foster a strong sense of community.
Do your homework and find out what the future plans are in place for the area, and the projected timelines.
Type of housing
If you’re looking for ‘shiny and new’, then building in an estate could provide an affordable option. You may also qualify for government grants or schemes where you pay a lower deposit, enabling you to own a home sooner than you ever dreamed.
The size of the home you could own in a new estate may be considerably larger than what you could afford in an established suburb; the same could be said about the allotment it’s built on. If you have a family, is it important that each child has their own room, or are shared bedrooms something you’re comfortable with? Is the space for a pool essential, or is the local YMCA a happy compromise?
These are all factors to consider.
Return on investment
History has shown it’s unlikely a home will significantly increase in value whilst there’s vacant land for sale in the same estate, as often people will build instead of purchasing an established home unless they are bound by time. If investing in an estate, consider the concept of ‘time-in’ – holding on to the investment for a significant period – rather than the ‘timing’ of when you buy and sell which may apply in more established suburbs.
The eastern corridor is well established and as such there are few true ‘new estates’. Notable additions to the landscape, however, have been ‘The Range’ which was built on the old Croydon Golf Course, and ‘Harcrest Estate’ Wantirna South which was home to the Austral Bricks Quarry. Both have been popular, providing the option of new housing against an amenity-rich backdrop, and resale, when offered, has been strong.
If close proximity to the CBD is non-negotiable, estate living probably isn’t for you, however, those open to a more flexible location might find a new estate offers them the lifestyle options they seek, and a place to write their next exciting chapters.