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Last week I started a series of articles on my “Golden Rules for House Hunting”. The first golden rule was “Buy the worst house in the best street”. This week I expand on this rule by detailing what the “best street” should look like.
Golden Rule #2 – Look for streets with redeeming features
What does a great street look like and what are the redeeming features?
To help you answer this question, I have a few multiple choice quizzes for you to answer.
1. The best street in an area should be:
2. The best street in an area should have:
a. The houses set well back from the street
b. Houses up close to the front boundary
3. The best street in an area should:
a. Be tree lined
b. Have no trees
4. The best street in an area should be:
a. Lined with character/period homes
b. Lined with low quality homes
The correct answers are:
1. b – wide
2. a – houses well set back from the street
3. a – be tree lined
4. a – lined with character/period homes
There are other features that can make a street attractive like a low level of traffic, limited blocks of high rise flats, away from factories, etc. However, the most important redeeming features that make a street the best one is one that is wide, houses are well set back from the road, tree lined and full of character/period homes.
However, some of the redeeming features are more important than others and a street can still be appealing without one or more of these features.
• The best street in an area can be narrow. Many inner city suburbs are full of narrow streets but still look very appealing.
• The best street in an area might have the houses very close to the road. This is very typical of inner city suburbs.
• The best street in an area might only have a few trees. Again, this is typical of suburbs close to the city.
• The best street in an area MUST be lined by predominantly appealing homes. They may not be character/period homes which were built before World War 2 but it is almost impossible for a street to look nice without appealing homes lining both sides of the street.
To summarise, the best street MUST at least be lined on both sides by appealing homes.
Buying in an appealing street not only makes living in it pleasant but it also makes your property more alluring to prospective purchasers.
These first and second golden rules highlight the importance of the street the property is located in because you cannot change a property’s location.
Happy House Hunting!
Written by Peter Koulizos, university lecturer, author and buyers advocate.