In the past, living in the suburbs away from the hustle and bustle of shops and transport hubs was desirable, with people being happy to drive to wherever they needed to get to – but this is changing as the trend moves towards a closer proximity to shops, transport and schools being increasingly more desirable.
The rise in cost of running your own car and the drive to reduce congestion on the roads, and focus on increased physical activity has led to people being more willing to walk to where they need to go – as long as the walk is 10 to 15 minutes at a maximum. Closer proximity to restaurants is a plus as statistics show that we are using our kitchens less often than we were 10 to 20 years ago.
However, how close should you be? Well, the answer is – it depends.
Close to a transport hub is good – right next door to it may not be so good as you will have to deal with the noise, unless you have double glazing and full insulation. Remember that there is also an increase in security risk due to the higher foot traffic passing your home. Consider also, that visual obstruction such as a train line or tram station within the line of sight from your home will negatively impact on your resale value.
Close to a school is good – if it is considered to be a good school, and if you are adjacent to the school, that you are overlook park-like grounds and not an ugly or poorly maintained building. Buying near to a good school will always enhance the value of your property. Properties close to Australia’s top performing state schools command higher selling prices and rent than comparable properties which are not close to these schools.
Buyers will also pay a premium for properties close to “trendy shopping strips”, where owners can take leisurely stroll to breakfast, lunch or coffee with friends. Once again, a short walk away will be ideal, as you benefit from the close proximity but avoid the noise and high numbers of passers-by.