where to live
The short answer is, close to where you work. In terms of life satisfaction and happiness, it’s not the size of the home that matters most but the length of time it takes to get from home to work. Many happiness studies have made the link between long commutes and unhappiness and the latest in the World Leisure
Journal confirms that people with the longest commutes have the lowest overall satisfaction with life.
Unsurprisingly, Sydney has the longest average commute at 5.4 hours a week, Brisbane is second with five hours and Melbourne comes in with a respectable 4.5 hours – a figure that may reflect better public transport. But for one in five Australians, the commute takes 90 minutes a day – that’s a lot of time to miss appointments, get stressed and leave the kids kicking pebbles outside the sports centre.
For most professionals, living close to work means living within 10km of the city centre – the so-called global core. And the benefits aren’t just about getting to breakfast meetings or popping back to the office for an 8pm emergency. Most professional families need childcare, schools and, eventually, universities to be close by and all those are more available in inner-city areas.
The influx of families into inner areas has resulted in some of Sydney’s inner suburbs having more families than outer suburbs while New York City, once home to the professional single, now has the same proportion of pre-schoolers as the rest of the US.
A proviso with inner-city living is that access to open, green spaces is vital to mental and physical health. So, choose an area that has established parks and gardens, street plantings and a few gyms.
When thinking about where to live, there are a few other questions that need to be addressed. Does it have good broadband? Are there restaurants and cafes that you like/can afford? How walkable is the area? What is the crime record of the area? And, finally, who else lives there? Diverse populations and a mix of housing varieties are known to increase an area’s liveability but it also helps to know family and friends are nearby.