When you are buying a house, think about selling that house. No, you didn't misread that. It is always important to keep one eye on the future when you are purchasing property. What sort of market will this house appeal to in 5, maybe 10 years, if you and your family have outgrown it?
Even though you may absolutely adore your potential new home (I mean, who wouldn't love those floral curtains and 60's style decor?!), others may have different priorities.
One way to ensure your property will appeal to a wider market is to consider the surrounding public transport. You may think you are snagging the house for an awesome price, until you realise the closest train station is half an hour drive away and there are no bus routes running through town. Having a train station within walkable distance can considerably increase your property value, and if there’s a bus stop at your door step? Golden.
Here are some public transport points you should think about when buying a house.
Close, but not too close.
In regards to train stations, you should consider their proximity. If there is a station close enough that you don't have to take the car (and regularly miss the train because you can never find parking) then this can add considerable value to your house. This scenario would be ideal for city bound commuters, students, those without a license, and, well, anyone who despises sitting in traffic.
However, if the train line is so close that it literally makes your coffee spill every time a train whizzes past, then maybe this is taking convenience a little too far. Peace and quiet is highly sought after, so a train station in your backyard will more likely decrease your property value.
Look out for new developments.
If there are plans for new public transport systems in a particular suburb, this is likely to become a hotspot for investors. The more public transport = the more connected the area = the more demand for housing = the more capital growth. Well, if all goes to plan 😅.
The flip side of this is that plans can be abandoned. You might buy in a suburb that is set to receive a new train station, and next thing you know, there is a change in government and the plans are scrapped. Making an investment based on development plans can be risky, and there is no guarantee that you will reap reward.
Keep one eye on the future.
Let's say that right now, you don't care about public transport because you work around the corner. Your kids are not at school age yet, and you rarely travel into the city. This is all well and good, but it is a very short sighted approach. Your working situation may change, and your kids will grow up and have their own transport needs.
If you end up needing to sell to resolve these issues, potential owner occupiers may be faced with the same problems. Investors will likely look to areas with better transport access, so that they can appeal to a broad rental market. Thus, a lack of public transport can polarise many prospective buyers.
When buying a new house there are so many things to think about, and public transport is just another (important) detail to throw into the mix. Pick the brains of your real estate agent and broker to get some handy tips. And remember, its not just the bricks and mortar that determine a property's value.