The inconvenient truth about suburbs

It’s easy to be fooled by a suburb name.  Even very expensive suburbs have bad neighbourhoods. It could be a busy road, a public housing block or a noisy hotel.  If you bought there before finding out you probably don’t want to talk about it until you can sell.

Buying a cheaper property in a bad location within an upmarket suburb can work out ok for investors but can be an expensive mistake for owner occupiers.

Joy Tan from Hawk Eye Finance, a Sydney mortgage and property advisory firm, says that staying fixed on a particular suburb is dangerous in today’s rising market. 


Joy Tan, Managing Director of Hawk Eye Finance

“People are being pushed into property they normally wouldn’t consider because they are priced out of the ones they prefer.  There are some things it’s not sensible to compromise on.  Looking a bit further afield can save you financial stress and help you secure a home that will meet your needs for many years.” 

She says that everyone has different needs and that most clients tend to look in too few suburbs. 

 “The trick is to narrow your search to the kind of neighbourhood that’s right for you but be open minded about the suburb.  If you want peace and quiet you might want to avoid schools and young families.  If you are at the child raising stage of life,  good schools and neighbours with kids who you are happy for your kids to play with are going to be a priority.  I advise people to write down their criteria with regard to commute, services, education, local culture and so on.”

She says that research to find suitable neighbourhoods is time well spent.  “There’s the ABS statistics, Naplan for schools and a range of other sources to find the gems.  The important thing is to be clear on what you need and realistic about what you can afford.  That will help you to focus the research process.”


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