Top 5 Unchangeable Must Haves for Home Buyers

October 3, 2023

News Image

The list of home buyer must-haves can be overwhelming but it's important to think outside the box and focus on unchangeable issues.

It's easy to install an air conditioner but it's not so easy to uninstall unpleasant neighbours or a crime-ridden neighbourhood

Let's take a look.

1. Location

If you have a family, you'll want to be close to quality schools, shops, and extracurricular opportunities such as sporting fields.

Unless you enjoy a long commute, you'll also want to easily reach your job via major road or public transport links.

And, is the neighbourhood safe and well-maintained by local councils?

Are the streets around your possible new property quiet too?

Is your potential new neighbourhood prone to natural disasters such as floods - Brisbane, we're looking at you! - or bushfires.

If you don't know the answers:

  • Talk to people, including shop owners, in your preferred area.
  • Check online crime and flood/fire maps or pop into the local police office for a chat.
  • Visit the property at different times of the day, including weekends and evenings.
Must Haves for Home Buyers
Considering factors like proximity to quality schools, shops, and amenities, and potential natural disaster risks when choosing a new family home.

2. Neighbours

Even your dream home in a lovely neighbourhood can quickly turn sour when you have such people living beside you.

You can complain to councils or the police but this can end in even more unpleasantness.

So, we recommend:

  • Chatting to your potential neighbours before you buy a home. 
  • Again, visit it at different times.

Remember too that neighbours will generally be as keen as you are to have someone pleasant living next door.

They can also recommend the best local shops and other amenities and tell you how a house has been treated or maintained by previous owners or tenants.

Must Haves for Home Buyers
Evaluating neighborhood harmony and gaining local insights before purchasing a home is a must have for home buyers..

3. Block size

Our grandparents' and parents' 660sqm block sizes (and even larger) are sadly, long gone.

Even regional towns can struggle to find such sizes.

An Australian Bureau of Statistics report found the block size of an average capital city home is now 432sqm - a 13%, or (64sqm) drop in the last 10 years alone.

Again, it's all about priorities - and also reality and your time.

A big leafy patch of garden would be wonderful, no doubt - but do you have the time to look after it, and the finances to purchase it in the first place?

Either way, block sizes can't be changed so think carefully about this point before signing on the contract dotted line.

Must Haves for Home Buyers
Considering the diminishing block sizes in modern homes, it's crucial to prioritise based on time, finances, and maintenance ability before making a purchase decision.

4. Floor Plan

Unlike the above points, floor plan designs can be changed somewhat, depending on your budget and time.

But if both budgets and time are minimal - and whose isn't these days? - it's always best to start out the way you want to live.

You may need to live with the fact that there isn't direct access from the backyard to the front yard (think hauling garden tools and soil through your living area).

Or, that there isn't a toilet downstairs.

Your Fitbit will love these issues, guaranteed! 

And, you may be surprised how these problems become par for the course over time.

Must Haves for Home Buyers
Considering floor plan designs is a must have when buying a home, as changes might be limited by budget and time.

5. House Orientation

Potentially, this is another issue you can fix - at least partially, such as by installing air conditioners, heaters or blinds.

But ideally, Australian homes should face north.

Note: this doesn't mean your front door should face north, but rather, your main living areas and gardens.


"Rooms facing the north tend to receive sun for the longest time of the day during winter and can be easily shaded by the roof’s eaves during summer," says SQM Architects.

"A north-facing orientation is the best in Australia because, during the full force of summer, your living room and garden will be protected from the sun’s force through shading. 

"Likewise, since the sun moves slowly from the east to the west in winter, your living spaces and garden will enjoy more sunlight."

Again, if your dream house faces south, everything's not lost.

Plus, if nothing else, you'll learn to use a compass!

Must Haves for Home Buyers
Considering the orientation of a home is key due to the potential impact on sunlight exposure and energy efficiency. This is a must have for home buyers.

Let us help you

Whether you don't know how to use a compass or you're worried about a potential block size or nasty neighbours, Listing Loop can help you. 

As Australia's leading marketplace for off-market, pre-market and "secret" listings, we have an extensive portfolio of stunning off-market properties for you to choose from.

Plus, our wonderful team of property experts can remove all the stress from the buying process so you can focus on the fun parts (such as learning how to use said compass).

Sign up today for FREE access to our hub of properties or for more personalised support, learn about our BUYER ASSIST service here.


The latest listings direct to your inbox

Discover pre-market and off-market properties you didn’t know were for sale.