Melbourne Real Estate: Where you need to be

When talking about Melbourne real estate the golden rule is to find a good location.

You may have a particular reason for wanting to move into a certain area, such as proximity to work or schools, or personal reasons like wanting to be close to the beach, or to cafes and restaurants.

Or you may look for a gem without knowing exactly where you could find it.

I have done a lot of research regarding Melbourne real estate before I found my house. Here are in my opinion some great places where you need to be.

Port Phillip: Inner Bay side

For a long time this was the only place I wanted to live. I have lived here for more than 4 years and I just loved it. I cannot be truly objective when it comes to how life is good here.

The council of Port Philip includes the following suburbs: Port Melbourne, Albert Park and South Melbourne, Middle Park, St Kilda West, Elwood. If you are the lucky one who lives in any of these places you will be close to the beach, the city, the beautiful Albert Park lake and my favourite market the South Melbourne market.

Plenty of trams which could take you to the city within 10-15 minutes and there is also an abundance of restaurants and trendy cafes.

Only issue, the price of the property in Inner Bay Side is one of the most expensive in Melbourne.

So, if you are not limited by the budget then go ahead and buy one of these beautiful Victorian houses 5 minutes from the beach. You would never regret your investment.

If a house in Albert Park or Middle Park is too expensive for you, there are also some apartments in St Kilda West or Elwood which could give you a footprint in this much sought after area.

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Inner East Melbourne

Apart from some Bayside suburbs this covers the most expensive areas of Melbourne real estate. You have the free way, leafy green wide streets, an incredible tram network, many great schools; parks and some of Melbourne best shopping strips.

At the one side of the Monash free way you have South Yarra, Toorak,  Armadale and Malvern. We are often talking about big blocks, big homes and big prices for these suburbs.

At the other side of the Monash free way you have East Melbourne (I lived 2 months in East Melbourne and I thought it was a lovely place to be and there is also many smaller quaint period homes - they are not cheap - nothing is - but they have stood the test of time), Richmond, Kew (its many large elevated residential allotments on wide, tree-lined streets with city views created booming demand for properties), Hawthorn, Balwyn (high price to be in the Balwyn high school zone)

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CBD or Dockland or Southbank

Few years ago, there was not that many people who would live in the CBD.

The local government developed a lot the real estate in the CBD and it became more and more residential.

Dockland is the product of an ongoing urban renewal project to extend the area of the Melbourne CBD.

Same thing for Southbank which is really the south portion of the city.

Of course, do not expect to have a lovely period house in these 3 areas. A lot of apartments have been built in the  recent years. Gym and Swimming pool would be part of the standard features of these contemporary apartments. Some of the luxury apartments have a wonderful view.

If you want to invest in Melbourne real estate, the city could be a could place because the rent is very high and the demand will not decrease in the coming years.

It may not suit well a family because of the lack of free space. I am also a little bit concerned that these buildings will become too close to each others if the Government keeps providing permits for new constructions in the city.

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Bayside South East of Melbourne

After Inner Bayside, you will find the lovely suburbs of Bayside. Great Places to live in that area are:

Brighton (one of the most sought after suburbs with the lovely Brighton beach, great shops and restaurants. It is quite snobbish but you cannot regret it if you can afford it. The auction clearance rate is particular high is this suburb), Hampton, Sandringham, Black Rock, Beaumaris.

Can't afford the big money of Brighton or inner Bayside then you really have to look at Black Rock, Beaumaris, Mentone, Parkdale, Mordialloc. However, you may spend a fair bit of time to commute if you work in the city and you push further than Sandringham.

A good life style has no price. You can take your family fishing on the little putt putt boats out from Mordialloc pier. Black Rock is home of the best golf courses in Melbourne and great family friendly beach. Beaumaris has a few transport issues but has really come on in recent times.

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Glen Eira South East of Melbourne

These are real family suburbs with areas such as Caulfield and Elsternwick having strong Jewish influence and Bentleigh, Ormond and McKinnon being regarded almost as cheerleaders for preservation of Calfornian Bungalows (style of house).

Good sized blocks, good schools (public Mckinnon Secondary College as well as many private such as Caulfield Grammar). Being slightly cheaper than neighbouring Brighton and Malvern have seen strong demand for family homes resulting in major infrastructure improvements to such an extent that house demand now regularly (each weekend) sees houses over a $1million in all these suburbs.

A quick comment on Carnegie and Murrumbeena - if you can't afford Malvern then buy in these suburbs and be patient and enjoy the shopping and other amenities that are already there because these suburbs are fast becoming like Malvern East, Glen Iris.

Great Places to live in that area are:

Caulfield, Elsternwick, St Kilda East and Balaclava, Ormond, Bentleigh, McKinnon, Carnegie, Murrumbeena.

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North of Melbourne

The suburbs in the north of Melbourne are traditionally cheaper even if the inner North suburbs like Essendon, Carlton, Fitzroy, Brunswick are really catching up.

However the north east area is still affordable compared to other areas.

There are great places to live like Fairfield, Ivanhoe, Alphington, Clifton Hill.

These suburbs lie along the Yarra river and have beautiful period homes interspersed with some "groovy" townhouse developments. We are often asked if this is a couple or a family area - truth is - its both and that is what makes it lovely to live here.

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