Very pleased to have been asked by Fairfax newspapers to comment on the growth of masterplanned communities.
Building a new house will be one of the largest purchases you will ever make and it deserves to be well considered and well researched. The choices of what to build and where to build can seem endless. For many purchasers, the option of buying into a master planned estate relieves them of a lot of the worries about buying into an unknown environment. Estates can promise to deliver consistent building styles, community and recreational facilities, schools and services. Quite often there is also an expectation that you are buying into an area with like-minded people who have families at the same stage as yours, which can provide a reassuring element to the decision making process.
However, there is often a premium attached to purchasing in a planned estate and all buyers should consider the value of the additional cost against purchasing elsewhere within that locality. The long term value of the property is also to be considered, as properties within estates are likely to hold a higher re-sale value. Again, the important action you need to undertake is research, research and research. Consider who the developer of the estate is and then ask about past developments, particularly from 5 or more years ago. Go and have a look at those estates and see how they are faring today; are they maintaining the ‘look’ or has it disappeared over time. What are the real estate values within those estates compared to the surrounding areas?
Sometimes the toughest task is to look beyond the glossy brochures to be sure that the dollars you are spending are being spent wisely.