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By Emma Smith

Buying a house is a long and complex process. Savvy buyers know to look beyond well-presented rooms and clever colour schemes, and think about the less glamorous sides of real estate investment. However, even after considering property insurance, maintenance hotspots, and mortgages the job isn’t complete. The area around your property is what will dictate the realities of day-to-day life, so you should bear these five factors in mind before deciding once and for all that this is the home for you.

Access to amenities

The obvious considerations are shops and transport links, but you should also think of your daily routine, and whether the change of location will suit. Are there gyms nearby? Are there local bars and restaurants, or will you have to travel some distance for an evening out? If you have children, are there safe parks and outdoor areas for them to enjoy?

Ensuring that your new home is well located will make it a help rather than a hindrance when it comes to your day-to-day, and your social life.

Ensuring that your new home is well located will make it a help rather than a hindrance when it comes to your social life.

The neighbourhood

Buyers should also consider the neighbourhood they’re moving in to. Most people will have an idea of whether the local area is considered safe, but you should also think of whether it’s suitable for you and your family. For example, if you have young children, you might not want to buy property in predominantly student areas due to the increased risk of late night noise.

The garden and outdoor areas

If you’re looking for a property located near green spaces, you’re not in the minority. In fact 63 per cent of respondents to a Husqvarna global garden report said they were willing to pay more for a property located in an area with plenty of green spaces.

Buying a property with its own green space can, therefore, seem like a great idea. You should bear in mind, however, that gardens and outdoor areas mean an ongoing time commitment if you want to keep them tidy. Make sure your desire for a garden isn’t just a flight of fancy, and that your outdoor space will be an investment you enjoy for years to come.

Local regulations

If you’re thinking of adding to the property, you should consider any local laws or regulations that may affect your plans.

Applying to the local council for planning permission can be a long and complicated process, so knowing in advance whether your desired additions are likely to fall foul of regulations can save a lot of time and hassle.

If you’re moving into an apartment or unit, you should also consider any specific rules put in place by the building manager, and whether they will suit your lifestyle. These rules will also give you an understanding of what is expected of you in terms of responsibility for things such as maintenance and waste removal.

If you’re thinking of adding to the property, you should consider any local laws or regulations that may affect your plans.

If your new property is located in the countryside, as well as council regulations, you should look into any land covenants which impact your property. Covenants can dictate the size or materials you need to use in your planned extension, as well as what types of activity are permitted on your land.

Buyers in rural areas should also be aware of ‘setbacks’. Setbacks are designed to protect the public from potentially harmful, but common, rural practices such as chemical crop spraying, and may prevent building in certain areas to prevent crowding.


Not included in the cost of buying a house are the rates, so you should factor these into your overall budgeting scheme for the property.

Rates themselves vary from place to place, but are always tied to the value of the real estate. You will be able to find out everything you need to know about the rates in the area to which you’re moving on the local council website, though your real estate agent should also have this information.

Given that buying real estate involves spending a significant amount of money in one go, it can be easy to not think about how the property will continue to impact your finances in the future. Having a good understanding of rates prior to investing means there will be no surprises when that first bill comes through.

There’s a lot to think about when buying a real estate on top of the building itself, and the necessary finances. If you’re thinking of buying a property, and have any further questions about what you should be considering, reach out to the Ray White team today.

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