Safe as houses

By Phillip Tarrant

When it comes to choosing a first home, there are a lot of things which dominate first home buyers’ lists, including size, price range and proximity to public transport. But what about safety?


A new survey has found safety is top of the list for females when it comes to house hunting.

The survey, which was conducted on behalf of First National Real Estate by Newspoll and surveyed 1,200 women from around Australia, found that the major influence on the home buying decision for women was whether the area was safe to live in.

This was particularly prevalent among younger women, with 100 per cent of 24 to 28 year olds quoting safety as a major influence; 78.2 per cent of 25 to 34 year olds also nominated safety as a major influence.

For first time buyers who are concerned about safety, there are a number of things to consider in your property search.

Obviously, a good starting point is choosing a location with a low crime rate. Jump on the internet and do some research on an area before you consider buying there. Even visit the local police, they’ll be happy to tell you their accounts of the local area.

There are a number of things you can also uncover yourself, such as whether the area is well-lit at night? Are there lots of alley ways? Are properties well-maintained and is there a warm community feel?

Of course, some first time buyers may not have a wave of options at their feet, in terms of location choice, or they may have their hearts set on a specific location regardless.

If this is the case, look for a property which is as safe as possible.

A good choice for safety-concerned buyers is a secure apartment complex rather than a house. Look for a complex with a secure entrance as well as a secure lift which requires a key or code to operate. A secure door to the apartment is also essential.

If you’re worried about safety it might also be worth passing up ground floor properties; it’s much easier for thieves to break in at street level.

Lastly, the best way to suss out the safety of a neighbourhood, street or apartment building is to ask around. Existing residents should be more than happy to tell you about the place they call home.

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