Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Looks Do Not Always Work

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Looks Do Not Always Work

Article excerpt

WHEN people set out to look for their perfect family home, too often they're seduced by beautifully styled images rather than what lies beneath.

"They're influenced by what it looks like, rather than working out what it can do for them," says Charles Tarbey, the chairman and owner of C21 Australasia. "But it isn't something that looks great in a magazine with lots of pots and flowers and candles.

"A perfect family home is about offering a practical lifestyle and comfort based on an individual family's requirements."

Working out what those requirements might be is the toughest part. A family with young children might like a home with lots of open areas where parents can keep an eye on them the whole time, a secure backyard and a playground close by. Parents with teenagers might crave separate living areas as far from them as possible.

But some priorities remain the same for everyone. "Schools are always going to be important, so you won't want to live too far away," says Stan Platis, an executive director of Independent Property Group. "And many people might want to live near where their friends and other family are.

"We're also finding that the great Australian dream of the family house on a quarter-acre or half-acre block is now giving way to more lifestyle aspirations where people want to be able to stroll with their kids to a coffee shop or use cycleways, so they're too time-poor to look after a big block and don't want to drive everywhere all the time."

That also means they're less fixed in their ideas of geographical location, says LJ Hooker Dickson agent Stephen Bunday.

"Eighteen years ago when I started, people might say they'd only buy in the inner north or the inner south or Fraser," he says.

"But now, for a lot of people, the family home is more of a resort-style scenario that you can also lock up and leave, and they're happier to try other areas to find one. …

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