Buying a home is personal and often comes with a checklist of 'must-haves' and 'wants' that you're mentally ticking off such as big bedrooms or beautiful wooden floorboards. Depending how far into your home buying journey you are, it can be easy to lose sight of features and factors of your new home that can really impact your time spent living there.

Location and area development

You might have a short list of suburbs you're already considering, but how much do you know about these suburbs or the facilities around you?

If you're moving more than a few suburbs away, be sure to do your research. No matter how much you might love the house, if the area isn't what you expected, you may feel as though you've made an expensive mistake.

Things to consider are:

  • Noise from local venues, public spaces or trains
  • Distance from transport
  • Distance from local schools
  • Distance from a main road
  • Local area developments such as apartment buildings or local shops
  • Local crime rate (check out your state police website for crime maps and statistics)

Flood zone

Australia has seen it's fair share of natural disasters including floods. While it might not look like it now, was the house you're looking at once inundated with water or was the street affected in a previous flood? Flood maps can be found online through local council websites and can tell you the likelihood of flooding in the area and any historic flooding events.

Homes that have previously been affected or have an increased chance, may attract higher insurance premiums, may be harder to sell in future, and will undoubtably cause distress in the unfortunate event another flood were to happen.

Natural light

While this one may not seem terribly important in the scheme of things, natural light can really impact the way you feel and interact with your space and your overall mood. When inspecting homes, take note of how darks the rooms are, if they've turned on any additional lights to compensate, and how much opportunity for light there is in other areas of the house.


Something you might not immediately notice when searching for your next dream home is storage space. While this might not be a deal breaker if you plan on renovating or making small modifications to rooms, storage can be crucial if you plan on expanding your family (or your Tupperware collection).

Things to keep an eye out for include bathroom storage, linen closet, built-in wardrobes, ample kitchen storage and garage or shed storage.

Current facilities and room to grow

Try to imagine how you will live in the space now and how you would like to grow into it over time. Consider what facilities your potential new home has now and what facilities you might want to add later. Essential immediate facilities might include a back yard, air conditioning, access to fast Wi-Fi, two living room spaces and decent water pressure. Whereas facilities you might want to factor in for later may include room for a pool, a granny flat, a water tank, more under cover parking or a better outdoor space for kids and pets.

Ongoing costs and maintenance

If you're picturing your next home sitting on half an acre or even several, have you considered the upkeep and maintenance of the property? The first thing you might imagine when having more space is relaxing views of nature or undisturbed privacy, not necessarily your weekends dedicated to maintaining lawns, gardens and weeds.

Whether it's factoring the time and cost of a larger property or simply the ongoing maintenance of a pool or spa, make sure you realistically consider the impact the change may have on your lifestyle, time and budget.

Auswide Bank Ltd Australian Credit Licence 239686. This information provides general advice only. We do not provide advice about this product based on any consideration of your personal objectives, needs or circumstances.