New communities – your check list
When you’re on the path to home ownership, it can feel that you need a doctorate in research techniques to navigate the volumes of information. And, for those embarking on building a new home, you can triple that volume.
Choosing your perfect new community, in a new or growing new suburb, involves a different process to reviewing an established suburb, mainly due to what is tangible versus planned or in progress.
To make sure you leave no stone unturned, follow this simple check list to start the information collection.
#1 First impressions count
Depending on the stage of the new community, you can’t beat a first-hand experience to get a feel for the quality of the finished product. What do the streetscapes look like and do homes look like they are owned by ‘house-proud’ residents? Does the community look tidy and clean, and carefully maintained? Observations like these will give you an idea of how motivated the developer is in enforcing design guidelines and keeping up with maintenance.
Many new communities promote premium connections to public transport and major arterials, which can be very important when moving to a new location. However, it is important to understand the timing of some of these community features, and what infrastructure is in place in the interim. For example, proximity to train lines is a common sought after feature, however, often transport from the new community to the train station is planned in the distant future.
#3 Outdoor recreation
For many, the decision to build a new home in a new community is based on the promise of an abundance of parklands and playspaces. Checking out the recreation space plans is more than just playgrounds, it is important to review the scope for all-ages areas – skate parks, basketball courts, toddler intuitive play areas, BBQ facilities, walking trails, bike paths, there is a lot to explore.
#4 Education and health
Young families will automatically investigate the availability of schools within the community, as most will have some in the planning. Importantly, what is the realistic opening date for these learning centres, and what can be accessed until they are ready? Access to medical centres and hospitals can be a key check list item for many, along with transport to and from.
#5 Retail services
It’s always important to know where your regular grocery shop will be, and if it isn’t already built, what is the timeline for the shopping hubs? Retail outlets can be more than just grocery needs, banking and business services such as post office and chemists are important to check out.
#6 Design guidelines
Covenants, or design guidelines, are enforced by land developers in new communities to maintain high levels of finished product, i.e. quality streetscapes. This becomes a key selling feature for a new community, providing prospective purchasers with confidence in the buying decision. Importantly, review the guidelines to understand the additional building cost implications.
#7 For sale signs
During your regular drive-bys, have you noticed many For Sale signs on the new homes? Take the time to speak to the local real estate agents to understand whether residents are selling to re-invest into the community, i.e. the returns are good but they want to stay local, or other reasons. For Sale signs can have many different inferences, so don’t jump to conclusions.
# 8 Ask the locals
Why not ask the residents who are living there? A great way to balance the facts and observations. Next time you are doing your (one of many) drive-bys, visit the park and chat to the locals and get the real scoop.
To obtain further advice on choosing the right new community for you, along with house and land finance, construction loans, and first home buyer information, simply fill out the quick contact form or call us on 1300 978 051