Landscaping costs money and it takes years for a garden to grow and look established. The older areas offer this key benefit over newer areas. The way the gardens are maintained influences the general streetscape and provides a big clue on how house-proud the neighbours are. The prettier the street, the more desirable it is and that has a direct impact on saleability in the future.
This is a hard one to gauge but certain streets develop a reputation for being great to live in. Keep an eye out for those with a sense of community. For instance some streets hold an annual Xmas street party while others get completely into the spirit with a light show spectacular. Ask the local real estate agents which streets have the friendliest reputations. Or you could knock on the doors of your prospective neighbours and see what response you get. A good indication of a quality neighbourhood is the general standard of upkeep. Are the lawns mowed or are cars parked on them? Have the fences and trims been freshly painted, or is the paint peeling?
Higher ratio of owner occupiers rather than investors.
Often new housing estates are marketed heavily to investors and for the first 5 or 6 years there are only a small proportion of owner-occupiers living there. As a result, these neighbourhoods don't develop the same appeal as those suburbs with fewer tenants. However, as the houses age, the tax benefits for investors start to dry up and the houses start changing hands. This is when the flavour of the area changes as owner-occupiers begin to move in. This can offer some good buying opportunities in the transition stage.
Condition and maintenance.
Some owners are great at keeping their homes clean and in good condition. And some are not so great at it, particularly if the house has been rented out for any period.
Be mindful that all newly built houses come with a home owners warranty insurance policy. The home owners warranty expires after 7 years so make sure you get your solicitor to check whether the property you are buying is still under warranty. If it is, it would pay to get a more thorough building inspection – one that can be used to lodge a warranty claim if required. Don't let this date slip by because once it's gone, so has the opportunity to claim.