The Weekend West – First Home Buyers Guide

“The biggest mistake when making a property purchase in any area is only considering one aspect, such as price, and not thinking about all your needs such as lifestyle, access to employment or proximity to family and friends.”

This was the view of UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck, who said while budget and cost of living should be the number one priorities when buying, general lifestyle considerations should also factor in, with nearby amenities and access to transport key.

Ms Steinbeck pointed to Rockingham south of Perth and Quinns Rocks and Yanchep in the north as affordable areas to purchase land close to amenities.

“While the affordability of house-and-land packages in new areas is a major attraction, these areas have a lot more going for them than just the price,” she said.

“Developers in new areas are always implementing new lifestyle benefits such as multi million-dollar parks, recreation facilities, public open spaces and brand new schools. Even state-of-the-art dog parks are becoming a common feature.

“In terms of established areas, look at locations that will benefit from the new rail extensions or that have upgraded or new station precincts planned – suburbs such as Bayswater and Morley in the north or Thornlie and Canning Vale in the south and south east.”

Ms Steinbeck said while new infrastructure would likely improve an area, it was worth bearing in mind it might be a few years before proposed infrastructure would be operational.

“When considering a specific suburb, look at transport connectivity to the places you frequent,” she said. “If you don’t work in the city, proximity to the CBD may not be as important as being able to get across to your job in a neighbouring suburb.

“Services that you require either now or in the near future should also be a top consideration. Look at local schools and sporting facilities, or maybe you need access to a specific medical service – that should all be taken into account.”

For buyers who seek proximity to the CBD, Ms Steinbeck pointed to areas like Balga, Westminster and Nollamara as excellent entry-level options for buyers, following several redevelopment and urban regeneration projects over the last few years.

Building on this, Ms Steinbeck said first homebuyers sometimes overlooked certain suburbs due to a misconception they needed to jump straight into a large four-bedroom, two-bathroom home.

“Suburbs that offer more diverse or higher-density housing stock are sometimes overlooked by first homebuyers, and these can often offer a good entry point depending on your household size and needs,” she said.