According to a recent television news report regarding loneliness, one in five Australians have no one to talk to at all. Research has shown that people need to feel a sense of belonging, to feel connected to other people.
As a home builder, this resonates deeply with who I am and what we do, because homes are built in communities. A new home is not just a place to sleep every evening. It is also an opportunity - a chance to become part of a wider community. It is a chance to belong to something that is greater than the sum of its parts.
The benefits of ‘community’ are many. When we spend time with others, we create relationships that can last throughout our entire lives. These relationships have been identified as one of the biggest contributors to a life that is marked by longevity and happiness. It is a fact - connection with others leads to increased happiness!
There are even physical benefits to being part of a community. One of the biggest physical benefits to being part of a community is a boosted, better-functioning immune system. People who are part of a community, or a group based on common interests, are generally healthier (in addition to happier) than those who are not. Loneliness, and being disconnected from a sense of community, are among the greatest threats to public health and wellbeing in Australia.
So, how can this help you? Here are a few tips to assist you to make the most of the opportunities that building a new house can bring you!
1. Location, Location, Location!
This is a common mantra in the real estate business, because it's true! Location really is key. When you are looking at building a new home, looking at the location is one of the most important things you can do. What kind of community are you looking for? A small, closely-knit one, wide open spaces, or somewhere in between? Does the location have places and spaces for connections, such as parks, coffee shops, movie theatres? Also, cul-de-sac or no through road can provide higher community connection. All of these factors make a big difference in how you connect with a community. Get to know the location, and what is on offer, before deciding where to build.
It is also important to consider your lifestyle when looking for a community to be a part of. Are you relaxed, laid back, a lover of weekend barbies and cold brews? Or do you prefer to spend your time visiting new restaurants, sampling exotic foods, or watching foreign movies? What you like to do with your free time will largely determine the community you will feel comfortable in. Community is not just a nice concept - it also determines how you invest your time. Your lifestyle preference can be unique to the amenities around you or the way you want to live, all will form the custom home of your desires, and likely become desired by others when moving onto your next phase in life.
3. Ask Questions
Your builder is a vital source of information, so don’t be afraid to make use of that! Generally, your builder will have been active in a particular area, and will already have a fairly good idea of what is on offer in the various parts of the city in which they operate. At EBH, we have spent over thirty years building in the Perth area, and we are happy to share our knowledge and experience of the city with our clients, helping them to find the perfect community to fit into.
4. Attend a Community Event
Another great source of information about a community is the community itself. Consider attending community events, whether its a neighbourhood barbecue on Saturday afternoon, or a rugby match at the local stadium, or even a book club meeting at a coffee shop. You will get a good feel for what the community is like, and will be better informed when it comes time to make a decision.
5. Say a Prayer
If you are religious, then a visit to a church, mosque, temple, or synagogue might be a good way to see if you might fit into a particular community. Religious organisations often have good community connections, or routinely organise community events such as pot luck dinners, scripture study, or movie nights, where you will get to meet other members of the community and share experiences with them. This will benefit you greatly when evaluating the community to see if it might be a place for you and your family to build your new home.
Community, and a sense of belonging, are essential to the physical and emotional health and well-being of your family. It is vital that you consider this factor before making the decision to build your new home in a particular place. It really doesn’t matter which community you choose to become a part of, just as long as it's the right fit for you. I hope that these points help you in deciding which community to build your new home in!