When you are buying a new house, you need to consider its proximity. Not just to the city, or the beach, or to particular affluent suburbs. There are other facilities and services that people require in their everyday lives, and the whereabouts of these can have an intense impact on median house values. These particularly things can dictate who is interested in your property if you do decide to sell in the future, and their absence could cause extreme inconvenience in your day-to-day life.

So, before you sign that contract, ask yourself; how close is your house....

To schools?

You don't have kids, so you don't need to consider the proximity of schools, right? Wrong! Even if schools are not useful to you, they can have an enormous impact on your house value. If there is a great school in your area, families may want to buy into the suburb so that they fall within the school zone. This would increase demand, and boost median house prices. And hey, even though kids aren't on the cards right now - who knows what the future holds?!

To parks? 

Everyone loves parks; kids love parks, athletes love parks, dogs love parks. Parks are great! They add a burst of colour to your neighbourhood, and can be a great place to connect with nature in amongst a concrete jungle. If there is a park opposite, next to, or nearby your house, future buyers will probably view this more favourably than if the property was jammed in amongst other structures with no natural relief.

To shops?

No one wants to drive 20 minutes down the freeway just to pick up a carton of milk. Having a decent supermarket within walking distance from your house adds both convenience and value to your location. A short drive is acceptable, but think about how far you're willing to travel for your weekly grocery shop, and how far others may be willing to travel if you do decide to sell.

To markets?

There ain't nothin' better than ducking down to your local market on a Saturday morning, stocking up on fresh fruit and veggies for the week, and grabbing a bunch of bright, scented blooms for your kitchen table. There are many fantastic markets scattered around Melbourne (and the rest of Australia) - but where is the closest one to you? Here is a short list of some of the country's best!

To transport?

We have previously detailed the importance of transport, and we stand by our assertions; it is vitally important to ensure your area has decent public transport connections before you buy. Whether it be regular bus services, a nearby station, or inner city trams - nearby transport is one of the first things future buyers/renters will look at when considering your house.

To restaurants?

Do you fancy fine dining? Or would you rather spend your Friday afternoons down at the local pub? While restaurants may not have a strong impact on your house value (many won't mind travelling for a good feed), have a think about your own needs. Hate cooking and will likely eat out more often than not? Then I suggest you check out the nearby eateries, before locking yourself into years of sub-par food.

To cafes?

With such a strong coffee culture, it is quite easy to find a favourite cafe in the streets of Melbourne. With the recent explosion of 'brunch' as a regularly weekend ritual, great all-day breakfast spots are more common than ever. Now, most brunch advocates don't mind driving a bit of a distance if it means they will be served up the perfect gooey poached eggs on a bed of smashed avo, sprinkled with crunchy dukkah; but if you'd prefer to take the dog for a walk and grab a takeaway soy chai latte on the way, then have a look around for some local #insta worthy cafes before you buy.

To services?

Need to get some cash out? You'll need an ATM. Delivering a parcel? Keep your eye out for a post office. These are things we tend not to think of until we actually need them, and realise that the closest one is 20km away - which can be particularly difficult for those without a license. Also, think about your own personal needs; if you're into arts and crafts, and the nearest Spotlight store is on the other side of the city, you'll have to prepare yourself for plenty of travel - and a lot of inconvenience.

To new developments?

A new gym? Shopping centre? Apartment block? Whatever they may be, new developments can heavily influence house prices. While adding handy facilities should have a positive impact, new apartments or housing can have the reverse effect; increasing the supply lessens the demand, and as a result, your shiny new apartment could be stunted in terms of capital growth.

There are many other things you should consider before placing an offer on a house (sporting facilities, access to major freeways, closeness to family/friends/work etc). Indeed, it would be a laborious task to find a property that addresses all of the above and more, so decide what is important to you - sometimes compromise is necessary! Remember, always keep one eye on the future (ie. the potential for capital growth and what future buyers may be looking for) as chances are, you won't be living here forever!


Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is not legal or financial advice. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation, or needs. Before acting on this information, you should consider the appropriateness of the recommendations, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation, and needs. We encourage you to consult a finance professional before acting on any suggestions provided in this article or on this website.