Welcome to the capital of Australia, a cosmopolitan city and a great place to build a new home . There is just so much to love about Canberra it’s hard to know where to start. Australian art, culture and history can be experienced on any given day. Foodies can rejoice in the food and wine scene. If outdoor adventure is your thing, you’ll find Canberra your playground, with plenty of green, wide-open spaces. In fact, there’s so much to do in Canberra you probably do need to move here to experience it all!
But is Canberra Right for You?
Canberra must be doing something right, even if many of us feel its politicians aren’t! Last year, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) listed Canberra as having the highest living standard in the country, if not the world! To break that down further, when Canberra was compared to other major cities, it ranked at the top for health, safety, education, income and services. It’s hard to argue with that! And let’s face it – when you’re living amongst the people who make the big decisions on how money is spent, you’re going to be the beneficiary of great infrastructure, roads, education and a good way of life.
Cost of Living – Like any city, cost of living varies depending on the needs of your family. As far as recreational pursuits, you’ll find plenty of amazing free activities including entry to the Australian War Memorial, the Gallery of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Museum of Australia, the National Archives of Australia, the National Film and Sound Archive to name a few. Floriade, the country’s largest celebration of Spring, is held between September and October and is another must-do free event and the largest floral festival in the southern hemisphere. In fact, Canberra’s calendar of events is jam packed with something for everyone from food and wine festivals, to music and so much more.
Proximity to EVERYTHING! – It’s going to take you a while to get through everything Canberra has to offer, but on those weekends you need to escape, just jump in the car and drive a short two hours to New South Wales beaches, two and a half hours to the snow or three hours to Sydney. Location, location, location!
Transport – If you drive to work, you might think you’ve landed in paradise if peak hour has always been your idea of hell. Due to its well-planned layout, traffic jams, peak hour and pollution are unheard of and the time you’ll spend in your car for most trips is about 20 minutes. Still, many people use the fast and efficient bus system or walk to get around. More still take advantage of the 2,400 kilometres of bicycle tracks, trails and lanes. Healthy, indeed! Canberra airport is just eight kilometres from the city and there’s also interstate bus and railway services. Take your pick!
Who lives here? – Canberra has a relatively small population of 379, 000 and the median age is 34. Diversity is what makes this capital city tick, with a quarter of Canberra’s population born overseas. There’s a real feeling of community in Canberra. 21.2 per cent of the city’s population volunteered in 2011, well above the national average of 17.8 per cent.
What’s the lay of the land– Canberra is divided into a hierarchy of districts, towns and suburbs. Where you find your own little pocket will depend on what you’re looking for when building your new home. Belconnen, for instance, is made up mainly of independent youths whereas in Narrabundah, the make-up is more established couples and families as well as older couples.
Education in Canberra – Quite frankly, you’d be hard pressed to find a better place to educate your family. While the nation’s capital scored 10 out of 10 for income, it scored just (wait for it) 9.1 out of 10 for education, its worst score across the categories. But let’s put that in perspective – NSW scored 7.2 for education, Victoria 7.4, Western Australia 7, and Queensland 6.9. Spare a thought for Tassie, which ranks in the bottom 27 per cent of the OECD’s 300 regions. But back to Canberra, the capital of the world, it would seem. Take your pick from a multitude of world-class educational facilities from day-care to university. You really can’t go wrong!
So should you Buy Off the Plan?
If you’ve been convinced to move to Canberra you may be tempted to start from the ground up by building your dream home. Buying off the plan can be a great way to save money by taking advantage of current market prices and committing to the property before or during its construction. Most developers will require a deposit at this stage, with the final amount to be paid upon completion. The market in Canberra is one of those rare beasts in real estate where long-term growth is almost guaranteed. Whether this is your first home, next home or investment home, building a new home in Canberra could be one of the best long-term investments you make.
Another great advantage of buying off the plan is that it gives you the opportunity to save. When you purchase an established home you can expect your mortgage and bills to start piling up from day one. With off the plan, you can save during the construction period. Now that’s really getting ahead! And don’t forget those tax advantages and stamp duty savings you may be eligible for.
Or perhaps a House and Land Package is for you?
If you’re considering buying a house and land package, the most important thing is to find a quality builder and or developer and a well-designed property. You’ll want your house and land package provider to have plenty of options to suit your family’s needs. And that can be the best part about buying a house and land package. You can visit display homes and often make adjustments to the inclusions so your dream home is truly your DREAM home. And forget about getting caught up in all the paperwork and red tape that comes with buying an established home. You just take care of the fun stuff like taps, tiles and trinkets while they deal with all the zoning, legal and government issues. It’s a no-brainer, really!