Have you been watching those shows like “Country Change” or “House Hunters”? Found yourself dreaming of what it would be like to take the leap of faith and do the sea change? Or, maybe you have to move to a new neighbourhood out of necessity? The key thing to remember is that CHANGE is daunting.
Some people take months to years to change their life around. Others jump at the right occasion but find themselves having doubts later about whether it was the right thing to do. Regardless of what boat you’re in, when you decide to change the area you live in, there are a few things you should consider when moving to a new neighbourhood.
Whether you’re a young couple, a family with kids or an elderly, Location, Location, Location is the thing you will always hear. Whether you will live in a house or unit, it has to be placed in a SAFE area.
If you live in NSW you can go on http://www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au/, click on Crime Statistics tab and use the Crime Mapping tool. You can get your own tailored map report showing the latest data on crimes and offences/offenders in the area you’re thinking of moving.
Here’s a quick tutorial. Go to the map and zoom in for the desired area. You can filter by the type of offences on the left side of the screen and the map will show you the number of offences through a colour scheme and a rate per 100,000.
Once you find the area that you consider safe for you and your family, think FLEXIBILITY. Is it close to work or school for kids? How far do you have to travel by car or should you consider public transport? Do the math, how much time are you going to spend on the road before you get to your destination?
If you consider public transport, research how frequent, how many options are to take you from A to Z? There are a lot of apps and sites that you can consider and transport NSW is one of them – https://transportnsw.info/#/ . You can find timetables, transport apps, fares, security, transport options.
If you have kids going to school, don’t forget to check the SCHOOL options in the area. You can check the My School website to find information about schools. This lets you know how schools are performing, the demography of the school and ranking, based on NAPLAN tests or parents review.
There is the option to look at a school profile, school financing, the number of students enrolled and the ICSEA, which is the Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage. You can also access links to the school website, where you can learn more about their background, beliefs and future commitments to their students.
The next thing you should consider is how well the Local Council is providing for the community. Are there good footpaths and parking in the area? Are there parks for recreational activities or kids playgrounds with well maintained equipment? How about clubs, pools, gyms, library, even restaurants? Though some people might not consider this a priority, others do look for a vibrant cultural and social lifestyle.
Also, don’t forget to Google, Google, Google. Ask around for recommendations, either friends or social groups – like local Facebook parents groups. Put down on paper the pro’s and con’s and be prepared to be flexible. You might not always find everything you’ve dreamed of, but remember that it has to be SAFE, COMFORTABLE and FLEXIBLE.
Have a tip to add or personal experience to share? We would love to hear from you – simply comment below.