There’s more to searching for property than the aesthetic of the actual apartment. From accessibility and convenience to market conditions and suburb statistics, information is the key to improving your property search. The more you have at your disposal, the more effective your search will be.
When you look online or read the brochure for a new apartment project, the marketing will only tell you the good things about its location. Do a little digging and read online reviews from real people who live in the suburb. Homely is a great website to visit, just be discerning about any reviews which sound too professional or glowing — sometimes industry professionals will pose as a member of the public to boost a suburb. It’s also good to go offline and go on a walking tour of the potential suburb you’re thinking of moving to.
Even if you’re just starting your property search and have no real firm idea of what kind of home you want, you should keep a constant eye on the market to see when property values shift or suburbs gain in popularity. The sooner you become an expert on what kind of projects are on the market, which developers are reputable, and how rental vacancies can fluctuate, the sooner you’ll be in a confident position to make an educated judgement.
When you look at an apartment, check out what kind of property the developer has produced in the past. Delve deep and look for the good as well as the bad. Check whether there were massive delays in construction (small delays are acceptable) and whether the people living there have made any complaints in forums. This forum on propertychat.com.au is a great place to start looking — just type the name of the developer in the search bar!
Have a think about what kind of amenities make for a happy and convenient lifestyle. If you’re looking to start a family, check out property close to child care centres and schools. Or maybe you often dine out with friends and family, in which case you’d be better off looking at apartments close to prominent retail or dining precincts.
The same goes if you’re an investor — many renters are attracted to homes where they can drive to the shops to pick up the groceries in less than 10 minutes and the tram/bus stop or train station is within 10 minutes walking distance.