The Golden Rules for House Hunting – part 5

In this series of articles, I have outlined some of my “Golden Rules for House Hunting”. So far, we have looked at Rules 1 to 4:

1. Buy the worst house in the best street.
2. Look for streets with redeeming features.
3. Look for improving areas with easy access to the city/beach/facilities
4. Capital growth is dependent on Location, Land, Looks

This week we look at my fifth rule:

Golden Rule #5 – Avoid buying near adverse localities

A number of my golden rules focus on the macro-location aspects; i.e. the suburb and the street. This golden rule focuses on the micro-location; i.e. the area adjacent and nearby your property. There is not much point in doing all the research to find a great suburb and appealing street if you get the micro-location wrong. Remember, location is so important in property as you can’t change this.

Some of the adverse factors that can limit the capital growth of your property include:

Factories or industrial areas: these areas are often unsightly and emit both noise pollution and air pollution. You may find there is a lot of noise in the early hours of the morning and bad odours depending on what type of factory you reside near.

Electricity sub-stations: Electricity sub-stations are not known for their aesthetics and there is also an element of safety. Furthermore, they have a health hazard stigma associated with them despite many claiming that evidence thus far has been inconclusive. People form their own opinions and if they believe they’re at risk, they won’t be interested in your property.

Cemeteries: Living near a cemetery certainly has positive aspects like ruling out noisy neighbours or having your view built out. However, they also carry an element of superstition. Whether superstition or a general ‘eerie’ feeling is something you experience or not; it will certainly hinder your ability to sell/rent the property in the future.

Take away shops: Whilst living next door to a take away food outlet may seem advantageous, you run the risk of noisy customers loitering outside your residence waiting for their orders in addition to odours and lots of rubbish which can attract vermin.

Bars/Clubs/Pubs: Depending on your demographic, living near a night time hot spot could be fantastic. However, consider the noise level late and night and early the next day as well as broken glass, potential violence and the fact that the future buyers of your home may not see living in close proximity to a pub or bar in the same desirable light as you do.

Petrol Stations: Petrol stations can be noisy, especially if they operate 24 hours, 7 days a week. They can also emit a strong and odour and pose a safety risk in the unlikely event of an explosion or leak.

Happy House Hunting!

Written by Peter Koulizos, university lecturer, author and buyers advocate.

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