Learning about the neighbourhood

When you’ve found the property you want to buy, it’s a good idea to get to know the neighbourhood before you make an offer.

Summary of important things to know
  • Check the neighbourhood and talk to the neighbours to make sure you’re happy with the immediate area.

  • Arrange to visit the property at different times of day and at the weekend to check the sun, traffic and activity in the neighbourhood.

  • Contact the council to ask about any zoning changes and any new developments planned nearby.

  • This information on learning about the neighbourhood may not cover everything that is relevant to you or the property. You should always get advice from your own lawyer or conveyancer and other registered professionals.

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Learning about the neighbourhood

  • Check the neighbourhood against your list of requirements. Does it have all the amenities you need such as schools, shops and access to public transport?
  • Take a good look at the neighbouring houses, including the ones behind the property.  Are they tidy (including the garage, trees and lawns)? How many cars do they have, and do they park on their property or the street? Will there be enough space for your car(s) and visitors?
  • Wander around the area and talk to neighbours and people you know to find out what it’s like to live there.  Do they know of any problem neighbours? Are they aware of any recent car or home break-ins? Do they know of anyone else in the area who may be getting ready to sell?
  • Arrange to visit the property during the day and at night, both on a weekday and weekend. What's happening in the neighbourhood? Is it noisy or calm? If it’s near a school, what is the traffic like at pick-up and drop-off? Is there a dog that is always barking? How much sun does the property get at different times of day? What is the lighting like at night in the area? 
  • Contact the local council to ask if there has been any recent rezoning in the area that would lead to different uses of the land. Ask if any future developments are planned that could lead to things like an increase in traffic or more heavy vehicles (trucks or buses) on the roads.
  • Search the property’s street address online to learn about what happens there, for example, you might discover a nearby home-based business with employees, which could reduce street parking spaces. 

Checklist

Download the property research checklist [PDF, 415 KB].

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