What to look for in the location of your block
The location of your new block (and ultimately your new house) can make or break your desire to live there. These factors might not impact your budget but they may affect your lifestyle once you move in.
The location of your block
Every family is different, but every family will have preferences regarding the location of their brand new block of land. You probably don't even realise that you have these preferences! It is important to consider all of these aspects before purchasing your new block of land.
Local Government Area
This might not be a huge factor for some but the local government area that the new block resides in may be a deciding factor. Take, for example, Willowdale – a new estate in Sydney's South West. The lots in this estate fall across two local government areas: Camden and Campbelltown.
Don't always assume that all of the lots in one estate will fall under the same local government area. Do your research and make sure that you are looking into land that resides in a local government area that suits you.
Proximity to schools
If you have or are planning to have children then this is particularly important.
Government primary and high schools are zoned to cater to certain surrounding residential areas. Sometimes you are able to opt to enrol in an out-of-area school. However, if the government school that you wish for your children to attend is at maximum capacity, you may be forced to enrol at your allocated school. Ensure you double check this before purchasing the land.
If you prefer to enrol your children in a private school or wish to keep them enrolled at their current school, make sure there is adequate transport to and from. Make sure the school bus services cater to the area that you're looking at – especially if that's how your kids will be getting to school.
Just like getting the kids to school, it's important to consider how you'll get to work. If you take public transport, double check the distances to and from bus stops and train stations. Also, double check the times and routes that you will taking to get to work (as they may be drastically different from what you're used to).
If you know that you will need to drive to the station each morning, check out the parking situation. Most train stations have commuter parking but not always are there spaces available on weekdays. Oftentimes, it is essential to get to the station very early in the morning to secure a parking space. Double check this before you pursue a block to ensure a smooth transition once you move in.
Shops, sports complexes, hospitals, churches and the like
We tend to get used to certain services being within close proximity to our homes. Think about the places you visit and where they'll be located when you move in. If one of these places is a little too far to your liking (or if you don't like the options nearby) it might be worth looking into better-placed estates for your needs and lifestyle.
Being within close proximity to shops and public transport is not always a benefit. If you're too close to sports fields, parks, shops, schools or churches, there may be unwanted noise and disruption around your new home.
Getting to and from your home
Pay attention to the layout of the estate. Look at the proposed street widths and how far into the estate the block is. Also, pay attention to what will be near your home (apart from other homes).
Living well within an estate adds time to every journey. This might even mean tacking on an extra 5 minutes for your trip to work.
Narrow streets also have an impact. Some streets are very narrow and difficult to navigate. Not only is navigation an issue but so is parking outside the front of your home.
Some things aren't worth compromising for
These things seem very small when purchasing the block but can have a huge impact once you move in. Sometimes there are reasons why certain blocks are cheaper than others. It is important to do your due diligence. Budgets generally have room to move but lifestyle is a much more difficult compromise.