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How to Create Your Own Suburb Profile

create suburb profile

How to Create Your Own Suburb Profile

Buying a home is a significant decision which requires thorough research. Understanding the live-ability of your potential suburb is critical. Here is how to create your own suburb profile:

  1. Fake live in the neighbourhood
  2. Test drive your most regular journeys
  3. Research businesses and public amenities operating in the vicinity

Cycling down a charming suburban street last week, a striking house-for-sale board caught my eye. ‘Family life re-invented’, the sign proclaimed. This captured my attention, not because of the home’s undeniable charm, but because this so-called family home nestles behind one of the city’s largest brothels.

Unlike due diligence on the actual home which can be done by licensed professionals such as building or pest inspectors, the task of doing due diligence on the neighbourhood, unless you hire a buyer’s advocate, rests on you, the buyer.  Given that the cost of selling and buying a new home can be many tens of thousands of dollars, it is worth taking the time to make an informed decision.

Here is how to create your own suburb profile:

1. Fake live in the neighbourhood

If you can’t rent or Airbnb in the area, visit as often as you can. Walk the streets, at different times of the day and week, visit local amenities such as parks, walk to the bus stop and linger at local cafes to ‘get the vibe’.  Be conscious of noise levels and even smells. Without being creepy, try to find out something about your potential neighbours.

Paul, a management consultant, almost put an offer on his first home in an inner city suburb.  He had been scoping out the street and neighbourhood for several days.  One balmy evening as he and his partner sat in their parked car near the house, he heard the neighbours fighting so violently and loudly, that he was completely put off and immediately dismissed the home from his short list.

Debra on the other hand bought her beautiful home after doing some simple investigating. ‘I door knocked my neighbours to ask them about the traffic from the school across the road.  Not only was I reassured that it was not a problem, but I met two lovely neighbors in the process which helped me confirm my decision’.

2. Test drive your most regular journeys

Natasha, a stay-at-home-mother, who lived in a prestige home close to the beach, sold up after a few years because every single trip to leave the home involved a long wait to drive or walk across a very busy road.

Before you buy your dream home, test drive your commute to work, school and other activities.  How long does it take? How easy is it to exit your property and negotiate the traffic?  How safe is it for your teenage daughter to travel on foot early in the morning or late at night?  How easy is it for your kids to ride their bikes to school?

3. Research business and public amenities operating in the vicinity

Unless you are relaxed about moving in next door to a 7-day-a-week brothel, it is worth understanding what businesses and facilities are operating in your area.  What times are they open?  What sort of clientele are involved?  How often and at what times are deliveries being made?

Even doing all of these activities won’t guarantee the perfect home, but it is worth the effort. That way if you do decide to embrace ‘Family life reinvented’, you go into your new home with your eyes wide open.


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