Fam­ily home search made easy

The Courier-Mail - Property - - REALESTATE NEWS -

FAM­I­LIES look­ing for a new home now have some spe­cial op­tions to help them in their search.

They may like to pe­ruse the re­cently un­veiled list, by RP Data, of Aus­tralia’s top sub­urbs best suited for fam­ily liv­ing.

It’s a sta­tis­ti­cal view that ranks sub­urbs based on a range of fac­tors, in­clud­ing price, size of land, num­ber of bed­rooms, cap­i­tal gains and area ameni­ties.

Or they may want to check out a site such as homely.com.au, an in­no­va­tive source out­lin­ing who lives in a sub­urb – sin­gles, pro­fes­sion­als, fam­i­lies with chil­dren and so on – and what’s great and not so great about an area.

This site also has a Q&A sec­tion; and sub­urb and street re­views.

When it comes to real es­tate and fam­i­lies, hous­ing wants can be quite pre­scrip­tive.

Af­ford­abil­ity plays a ma­jor role in our hous­ing choices, along with per­sonal cir­cum­stances and needs.

Fam­i­lies have spe­cific re­quire­ments and in gen­eral are look­ing for sim­i­lar things – such as the five S’s be­low:

Space – this means good-sized homes on large blocks of land; with plenty of bed­rooms and lots of stor­age to ac­com­mo­date a grow­ing fam­ily. Fam­i­lies want space for chil­dren to do home­work and play; pri­vacy for teens and par­ents; and size­able kitchens to ac­com­mo­date multi-task­ing and group in­ter­ac­tion. A fam­ily-friendly yard will be fenced, with a lawn area, and space per­haps for a cubby, a sand pit and some shade.

Schools – close prox­im­ity to good schools is of­ten a fo­cus. If lo­cal schools are con­sid­ered be­low par, then fam­i­lies may seek to set­tle else­where.

Safety – is para­mount and par­ents will seek to lo­cate in low crime ar­eas.

Ser­vices – this means shops, banks, med­i­cal ser­vices, hos­pi­tals, child care and trans­porta­tion.

Sim­i­lar neigh­bours – fam­i­lies with chil­dren of­ten grav­i­tate to fam­ily-friendly ar­eas – lo­ca­tions where there are other fam­i­lies with chil­dren and op­por­tu­ni­ties for them to make friends; en­joy open space ar­eas in rel­a­tive safety; and ex­pe­ri­ence a sense of com­mu­nity.

The RP Data study found, not sur­pris­ingly, that most of the sub­urbs deemed best suited for fam­ily liv­ing, are lo­cated in the mid­dle and outer ring ar­eas of our cap­i­tals, where there are more af­ford­able hous­ing op­tions, lo­cated on larger blocks of land.

Mel­bourne dom­i­nated the list as the most favoured cap­i­tal over­all; Bris­bane ranked sec­ond, fol­lowed by sub­urbs of Syd­ney, Ade­laide, Ho­bart, Perth and Dar­win. Bris­bane’s top 10 fam­ily friendly sub­urbs: Morayfield – with a me­dian house price of $310,000; The Gap ($569,000); Ken­more ($558,000); Al­bany Creek ($487,000); Ea­tons Hill ($530,000); Bray Park ($344,000); Red­bank Plains ($286,000); Alexan­dra Hills ($393,000); Narangba ($430,000); and Collingwood Park ($295,000).

With Bris­bane hous­ing typ­i­cally more af­ford­able than the other ma­jor cap­i­tals – half of the city’s top 20 most fam­ily friendly sub­urbs hav­ing a me­dian house price un­der $400,000 – it’s not sur­pris­ing that agents such as The McGrath Group have re­cently re­ported see­ing a slight trend in Syd­ney and Mel­bourne fam­i­lies head­ing north to Queens­land for good weather and bet­ter value for money in property.

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