There are some features that most families look for when deciding where to look for a new home. For example, most will need easy access to major arterials and first-rate amenities, sports facilities and excellent schools - private or public.
However, not all families have the same needs, so you need to make a list of what is important to your family. For example, are you and your children keen sports participants, or do you tend to be homebodies who prefer to lounge in front of the television?
Answering questions like these will dictate whether you need modern lock-up-and-go convenience or a more traditional family home.
Security is an important concern, particularly if your children or dependants will be at home alone for part of the day while you are at work. Homes in security estates offer outdoor spaces where your children can play safely. Many also have recreational amenities suitable for children to use without your supervision.
If garden space is limited in the suburb you are considering, look for a home in a quiet street where your children can ride their bikes or with a nearby park where they can safely play.
If your children will be walking or riding their bicycles to school, pedestrian safety measures are an important factor. Look for dedicated cycle lanes, monitored pedestrian crossings, and traffic calming measures such as speed bumps and visible stop signs.
If you and your children enjoy sports and outdoor activities, ensure there are adequate facilities nearby – preferably within walking distance. Regularly having to travel great distances to and from your favourite gym can be tiring, and you are likely to give up going.
Having child-friendly activities and restaurants nearby can also make life more convenient for you and your children.
Whatever area you decide on, you need to make sure the home you buy is well within your financial means, so don’t be tempted to exceed your affordability levels.
Fortunately, most family-friendly suburbs also offer excellent capital growth prospects.