Lifestyle precincts are continuing to grow in popularity. The convenience of amenities such as shopping centres to a favorite coffee shop being just a few steps from your front door is increasingly appealing to both owner-occupiers and tenants.
But what should you look for when making the transition to a lifestyle precinct? There are many key considerations that need to be taken-into-account when purchasing your new home.
Not only do you want to find something that suits your needs now, but this is also a significant life investment.
Perhaps in a few years, your circumstances will change, and you will look at moving on. You want to be well-positioned to make the most out of equity, from the growth in value of your property, and / or be able to achieve competitive rental returns.
This seems like a lot to consider, but quite simply – the reason you like an area or a particular home, is most likely what drives your future tenants or purchaser.
There are many considerations that need to be taken into account when purchasing your new home, and the search can become overwhelming. By setting your criteria, you can focus on properties that meet your needs and lifestyle. Some questions to consider include:
- Are you looking for a completed property to move into now, or do you need some time to get your finances in order?
- Are you looking in a specific location to be close to work or family?
- Do you have a specific need, such as a designated space to work or study from home?
- Are you bringing your four-legged friend?
DETERMINE YOUR BUDGET
We highly recommend you have a chat with a Mortgage Broker or Bank. This helps you understand all the costs involved in buying a property. They will also help you understand what the banks are looking for, and what your repayments will look like so you can make an informed decision right from the start.
It also helps you have a clear picture of what your budget is, and from there you can start thinking about what is essential for you, and where you may need to be flexible.
The cornerstone of choosing a lifestyle property is the location! Consider the proximity to amenities, and what you would like from your new lifestyle – such as walking distance to cafés, restaurants, cinemas, parks, transport and other recreational amenities.
This is about planning for the lifestyle you want, and thinking about what is most important to you? Perhaps it is being close to:
- Employment areas
- Shops and restaurants
- Outdoor amenities such as parklands or riverwalks
- Transport (public transport options as well as road infrastructure)
- Education hubs (Childcare, Schools, Universities)
- Medical facilities (Doctors, Hospitals)
- Cultural and Entertainment Precincts
Taking care of lawns, gardens, and repairs on an older property can be both time-consuming and expensive, not to mention the hassle of organising someone to water the garden or look after your property should you wish to travel.
If you have a green thumb or a four-legged friend, a large terrace or courtyard allows you to have the best of both worlds: A small garden, or space for pet whilst also minimising the required upkeep. Some developments even have communal gardens and dog-walkers organised through the onsite managers!
DESIGN AND BUILD QUALITY
For buyers seeking a low-maintenance lifestyle, not just anything will do – and some properties are more suitable than others.
We recommend writing down your criteria, and make sure you include the reasons you have started to think about moving to a lifestyle precinct. This will help you to narrow down your options, so you can focus on refining your criteria to the type of property that suits your new lifestyle.
Buying a new home doesn’t mean you must compromise on quality or space. As you start to compare your options, you will start to gain an understanding of what presents value for you, and where, if any, compromises may have to be made.
Although there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to finding your new home, below are some suggestions about what to consider when you are looking to downsize.
SMALL ENOUGH TO MAINTAIN, BIG ENOUGH TO ENTERTAIN
If you’re downsizing your home, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re prepared to part with a large number of your possessions. Look for functional floorplans with ample in-built storage, and minimal ‘wasted’ space.
Although the day-to-day requirement of space may be less, this doesn’t mean giving up dinners with friends, family gatherings and other social occasions.
Choosing an apartment that has large entertaining areas might be important to you. Many apartments feature residents’ facilities with BBQ facilities, entertainment areas or private dining rooms which you can book through onsite management.
Once you have narrowed down your list of properties that meet your criteria, it’s time to compare and evaluate the options against each other. This is a very personal decision and will generally come back to those pain points that have led you to consider living in a lifestyle community in the first place.
Purchasing a new home is a daunting experience, but it should also be an exciting time. At Which Property we specialise in tailored property solutions for investors and owner-occupiers alike. We can help you understand your goals and find property solutions suited to you. Contact us today for more information.
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