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Best Canberra suburbs for families?

By Newy2017 - 4 January 2017 18

Ask RiotACT

I’m new to Canberra so please be kind! I’m looking at buying a home for my family to finally feel settled. I’ve narrowed it down to Crace, Forde, Harrison, Casey and Nicholls.

I’ve driven around the areas and spent hours researching on allhomes – prices and what you get for your money.

So what am I asking? I’m just not sure which.

I like Forde but feel there isn’t enough properties coming on – I need to purchase by May at least. Crace – similar to Forde. Unsure about some parts of Nicholls. And Casey? I’m not sure about …anyone live in these suburbs? Have any advice? There’s a 4 bed in Nicholls with pool for $630,000 but I’m not sure if the area is any good …

Any tips helpful. Thanks.

What’s Your opinion?


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18 Responses to
Best Canberra suburbs for families?
1
Suzanne Kiraly 10:59 pm
17 Jan 17
#

Welcome to Canberra Newey2017! Just a quick question – have you thought about some of the older suburbs, or are you keen on the newest suburbs? Reason being, some of the older suburbs offer bigger blocks of land and can be quite trendy – like Lyneham and O’Connor for example. If you have a young family, then the newer suburbs I think may be for the younger ones. Nicholls is quite popular and Crace is family friendly. Why don’t you rent in a suburb before you buy? If you are not in a hurry, that’s a good strategy for the longer term.

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2
devils_advocate 8:55 am
18 Jan 17
#

I realise you’re looking for houses in the Gungahlin area, but since you said it’s a home for your family (which often means kids) and buying a home is a big decision – have you considered which school catchment you’ll be in?
School catchments were a big consideration for me (as well as being able to walk to work on days when it wasn’t 40 deg c outside) and all of that drove me to the inner south.
Might be a bit of a stretch if you’re looking in the 600k range but then after factoring in all the other financial and non-financial costs it may work out more affordable than you think.

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3
Maya123 12:58 pm
18 Jan 17
#

devils_advocate said :

I realise you’re looking for houses in the Gungahlin area, but since you said it’s a home for your family (which often means kids) and buying a home is a big decision – have you considered which school catchment you’ll be in?
School catchments were a big consideration for me (as well as being able to walk to work on days when it wasn’t 40 deg c outside) and all of that drove me to the inner south.
Might be a bit of a stretch if you’re looking in the 600k range but then after factoring in all the other financial and non-financial costs it may work out more affordable than you think.

Yes, I think many people do fail to factor in other costs, such as the cost of driving to work, children to school, etc rather than living closer to work, school, etc and being able to walk or cycle, or even the cost of owning a car, and being able to do away with it and the savings there. But to be fair here, the closer places are likely to have higher rates.

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4
Masquara 2:01 pm
18 Jan 17
#

Never buy a house with a pool at the lower end of the market – it is guaranteed to be a liability if you ever need to sell in a buyer’s market. Gungahlin is notoriously bad for commuting and the lack of nature strips there has been so unpopular that Canberra’s new developments have nature strips. And do you want to be forced onto light rail if it turns out to be unpopular and the government has to sell rail tickets? If your budget is $650,000-odd, you could look at Macquarie or other inner Belconnen options and get two of the kids to share a bedroom until you can afford an extension. (And apply the savings in pool maintenance to a slightly bigger mortgage)

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5
Masquara 2:02 pm
18 Jan 17
#

Why do you need to purchase by May? It would seem wise to rent for a few months till you get a feel for the place?

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6
Aragornerama 2:51 pm
18 Jan 17
#

What makes a suburb good for families? The only thing I can think of would be school catchment zones, in which case the inner north or inner south would be your best bets. Probably tough on that budget, but I’d look at Narrabundah, Ainslie, Lyneham, O’Connor, Dickson and Downer.

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7
Masquara 3:20 pm
18 Jan 17
#

Aragornerama said :

What makes a suburb good for families? The only thing I can think of would be school catchment zones, in which case the inner north or inner south would be your best bets. Probably tough on that budget, but I’d look at Narrabundah, Ainslie, Lyneham, O’Connor, Dickson and Downer.

$650,000 won’t get you a do-up in Ainslie with four bedrooms! Entry level is now $850,000 for three bedrooms “needing renovation”.

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8
Maya123 3:48 pm
18 Jan 17
#

Masquara said :

Never buy a house with a pool at the lower end of the market – it is guaranteed to be a liability if you ever need to sell in a buyer’s market. Gungahlin is notoriously bad for commuting and the lack of nature strips there has been so unpopular that Canberra’s new developments have nature strips. And do you want to be forced onto light rail if it turns out to be unpopular and the government has to sell rail tickets? If your budget is $650,000-odd, you could look at Macquarie or other inner Belconnen options and get two of the kids to share a bedroom until you can afford an extension. (And apply the savings in pool maintenance to a slightly bigger mortgage)

Forced onto light rail! No-one will be forced to use it, but the way the people voted in Gungahlin last election indicated that more voters than not there are looking forward to it. I’m talking about the silent majority who voted the way they did. All this negativity gets very boring. I just wish it was coming to my area. But maybe one day :)

I am surprised about the pool statement, as many people at the lower end of the market are younger first home buyers who I would have thought would enjoy a pool, and their children would too. As long as the house is not more expensive because of it. However I do know a pool can be a turn off for many people, but I would have thought this feeling would have been stronger in older age groups, who are less likely to be looking at houses in the cheaper end of the market. Pools are another thing that you have to clean though and that eats into your leisure time…and reduces the time you have to enjoy it.

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9
Masquara 9:47 pm
18 Jan 17
#

Maya123 said :

I am surprised about the pool statement, as many people at the lower end of the market are younger first home buyers who I would have thought would enjoy a pool, and their children would too. As long as the house is not more expensive because of it. However I do know a pool can be a turn off for many people, but I would have thought this feeling would have been stronger in older age groups, who are less likely to be looking at houses in the cheaper end of the market. Pools are another thing that you have to clean though and that eats into your leisure time…and reduces the time you have to enjoy it.

There are turn-offs about pools for many buyers. Pools develop leaks and cracks, and either the seller or buyer will need to pay for an engineering inspection. Ask any young buyers and they’d probably rather put their early mortgage money into paying off the capital (or it could even tip them into a better housing area) and put in a pool when they can afford to. I’m not sure that older buyers are less likely to buy in a cheaper area. Lots of downsizers are buying a place at the coast and a smaller house in town. Or buying a cheaper house and going on good holidays. On balance, I don’t think a house with a pool is a good investment unless it’s a high-end house.

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10
Maya123 11:42 am
19 Jan 17
#

Masquara said :

Maya123 said :

I am surprised about the pool statement, as many people at the lower end of the market are younger first home buyers who I would have thought would enjoy a pool, and their children would too. As long as the house is not more expensive because of it. However I do know a pool can be a turn off for many people, but I would have thought this feeling would have been stronger in older age groups, who are less likely to be looking at houses in the cheaper end of the market. Pools are another thing that you have to clean though and that eats into your leisure time…and reduces the time you have to enjoy it.

There are turn-offs about pools for many buyers. Pools develop leaks and cracks, and either the seller or buyer will need to pay for an engineering inspection. Ask any young buyers and they’d probably rather put their early mortgage money into paying off the capital (or it could even tip them into a better housing area) and put in a pool when they can afford to. I’m not sure that older buyers are less likely to buy in a cheaper area. Lots of downsizers are buying a place at the coast and a smaller house in town. Or buying a cheaper house and going on good holidays. On balance, I don’t think a house with a pool is a good investment unless it’s a high-end house.

I agree with what you are saying. I’ve never wanted a pool…until I heard of the pool that had been converted into an underground rainwater tank, and got approved for the rebate. Then I thought, well maybe…

I did write, “However I do know a pool can be a turn off for many people”, but I thought many (not all) younger buyers might like one, if they didn’t have to pay extra for it and it came with the house. I doubt many people who would want and buy a house with a pool, think of the maintenance costs; it’s just nice, being able to sit around it and drink beer with the mates, jump in occasionally on a hot day. And then later for the children to swim in it with their friends.

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11
pink little birdie 3:20 pm
19 Jan 17
#

Of those I would choose Nicholls. It’s the oldest suburb of that lot so bigger blocks and better quality buildings I would consider Kaleen, McKeller and Evatt for that area

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12
bryansworld 5:53 am
20 Jan 17
#

Gungahlin not a good long term plan. Block size better almost everywhere else.

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13
rommeldog56 6:57 am
20 Jan 17
#

pink little birdie said :

Of those I would choose Nicholls. It’s the oldest suburb of that lot so bigger blocks and better quality buildings I would consider Kaleen, McKeller and Evatt for that area

The issue of quality of construction in newer areas is well made. I know 3 people who have purchased new homes/units in “new” areas over past 2 years. All have significant build quality issues. Kaleen is a good suburb.

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14
crackerpants 10:37 am
20 Jan 17
#

Maya123 said :

Masquara said :

Maya123 said :

I am surprised about the pool statement, as many people at the lower end of the market are younger first home buyers who I would have thought would enjoy a pool, and their children would too. As long as the house is not more expensive because of it. However I do know a pool can be a turn off for many people, but I would have thought this feeling would have been stronger in older age groups, who are less likely to be looking at houses in the cheaper end of the market. Pools are another thing that you have to clean though and that eats into your leisure time…and reduces the time you have to enjoy it.

There are turn-offs about pools for many buyers. Pools develop leaks and cracks, and either the seller or buyer will need to pay for an engineering inspection. Ask any young buyers and they’d probably rather put their early mortgage money into paying off the capital (or it could even tip them into a better housing area) and put in a pool when they can afford to. I’m not sure that older buyers are less likely to buy in a cheaper area. Lots of downsizers are buying a place at the coast and a smaller house in town. Or buying a cheaper house and going on good holidays. On balance, I don’t think a house with a pool is a good investment unless it’s a high-end house.

I agree with what you are saying. I’ve never wanted a pool…until I heard of the pool that had been converted into an underground rainwater tank, and got approved for the rebate. Then I thought, well maybe…

I did write, “However I do know a pool can be a turn off for many people”, but I thought many (not all) younger buyers might like one, if they didn’t have to pay extra for it and it came with the house. I doubt many people who would want and buy a house with a pool, think of the maintenance costs; it’s just nice, being able to sit around it and drink beer with the mates, jump in occasionally on a hot day. And then later for the children to swim in it with their friends.

The biggest turn off for a lot of young families – such as mine – is that pools pose some serious risks which have to be mitigated (as much as they can be). Great for older kids perhaps, but not when there are babies/toddlers/preschoolers present.

Back to the OP, well, you couldn’t pay me to live in Gungahlin with a young family, but I agree with Miz that I’d be looking to the established suburbs like Nicholls. You would get better value for money in Woden/Weston Creek (excellent for schools) or Belconnen, and easier living all round.

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15
flitness 10:59 am
27 Jan 17
#

Hi! Welcome to Canberra.

As a resident of Gungahlin, I would also like to welcome you to the constant bickering/turf wars we all have here about our various locations. Really, Canberra is okay everywhere, we just like to talk big about the horrors we don’t actually have in comparison to other cities.

I love living in Gungahlin, but the comments about schools is really important. If you play your cards right, your kids can walk to a school. Most schools up here are pretty good, but they can get a bit full, so if you pick a place with a school nearby, you’re on a winner. (that is if you choose to go public. Private, prepare to drive and be stuck in the 3pm hell of drop off’s. Which is nothing in comparison to Sydney and Melbourne!)

Casey is a lovely suburb, especially if you get into Spring Valley Rise. The local shops there are really great. But schools wise, Harrison school is wonderful, and it would be a great option. Gold Creek is also good, IMO, and Nicholls is more established, so lots of lovely trees and little construction site risks like the newer suburbs. (And a great chip shop with awesome chicken burgers.)

Honestly, nothing is really that far away, none of the suburbs have anything really negative about them. If you find a house you love, and the neighbours aren’t hoarders, I think you’ll be okay.

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