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4 locals you need to know before you buy in a suburb

When moving to a new area, consider who has the inside knowledge and local secrets to help you slip seamlessly into a new life.

4 locals you need to know before you buy in a suburb

08 July 2020

When moving to a new area, consider who has the inside knowledge and local secrets to help you slip seamlessly into a new life…

From making new friends to finding a GP, moving to a new area sometimes requires more than just the tools needed to physically move. You need to relocate your social and personal life too.

However, a few key folks can make your transition to a new life seem like a breeze.

Find out who you need to meet quickly in order to get the best out of your potential new locale.

1.     A local home loan specialist

Local home loan specialists are more than just a pathway to your mortgage. If they’re worth their salt, they should have a wealth of local knowledge on the property market and could help you get a leg up before you’ve even bought a home in the area.

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A local home loan specialist should have the low-down on the neighbourhood. Image: Amy Hirschi

“I think speaking to your local home loan specialist is very important, because they’re very familiar with the area and they would have helped many people into their new homes,” RAMS Sydney Eastern Suburbs Franchise Principal Alistair MacIntosh explains.

“They’ll know the local real estate agents, they’ll know what is selling and they should know if there are any troubles with council regulations. They can help refer you to local specialists, like solicitors or an accountant, or maybe even a new gardener once you nab the home you’ve been eyeing off.”

Alistair frequently talks to his clients about the goings-on in the local suburb, particularly in regards to recent sales and auctions, which can help a lot when it comes time to buy your own property.

2.     Your local barista

Think of it this way: you’ll want a good coffee and a decent feed on moving day, right?

While you can turn to the internet for help, it never hurts to seek out a good café for local knowledge. Chatting to your barista can provide a wealth of information and know-how.

4 locals - Brooke-Cagle

Get to know your new community, starting with the best coffee in town. Image: Brooke Cagle

Not only do small businesses, like local cafés, grocers and butchers, have the low-down on other neighbourhood goods and services – particularly other hospitality haunts, like great restaurants and bars – they can also be a comforting presence.

“I moved to a new city last year where I didn’t know anyone and I mostly worked from home. So, there were often full days where the only person I spoke to was my barista,” Rebecca, 28, said after moving to Hobart last year.

“I also have a friend who lived in Melbourne and was fairly well established with a community and friends. She eventually had knee surgery and when she couldn’t walk her local barista would bring her coffee from across the street to her apartment.”

Local barista-slash-mum? Cute.

3.     The local vet

If you’re moving with pets, you’ll need to know all about local dog parks, pet-friendly cafés, dog beaches, trainers, kennels or pet minders – and the local vet should be the linchpin with all this knowledge.

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Fluffy needs friends too. Image: Alvan Nee

This may be a particularly vital contact if you’re moving to a totally new state or neighbourhood as local councils enforce various rules around pet registration and responsible ownership.

Furthermore, if your furry friends are going to be difficult on moving day, you may need a hot tip for a good kennel or minder.

4.     Your neighbours and community members

No matter where you live, good neighbours can really enhance your living experience. They can also make you feel more secure and can help with keeping an eye on your property if you ever go on holiday.

“It’s great to have a friendly street where people wave ‘hello’ instead of ignoring each other’s presence,” says Alistair.

“They may know things you don’t know too, like facts about the council or perhaps the previous owner. They might also be clued into which neighbours are trying to hustle building approvals through – so they’re a great source of local knowledge.”

If you have kids you’ll be looking for the inside scoop on schools, sporting teams and other activities to get the little ones excited about their new home. Your best resource? Other mums and dads within your neighbour network.

Families with school-aged children are not only great resources for ‘kid things’ but all avenues of community life, from where to get grocery deals to good dentists, GPs, plumbers and gyms.

If moving requires your child changing schools, try and do a tour of those in your new area before moving. As an added bonus, try and attend a local fete, school event or sports game before arriving to get a leg up on contacts and local info. 

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If you have young kids, it helps to have support and advice in the area. Image: Paige Cody

If you have babies, seek out your local mothers or fathers group to ensure you have support in your new community.

Furthermore, look to local libraries or council pages for community event notices, such as story time at your local library or local markets and fairs. These days, most areas also have Facebook pages for parenting groups to help you crack the community bubble.

Originally posted on ‘4 locals you need to know before you buy in a suburb

Speak to a home loan specialist