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As we hurtle towards the start of the new school year, it brings into sharp focus for many people buying, selling or moving house (or all tHicks Real Estatee) the need to feel settled.

The feeling of ‘being settled’ for everyone is probably a little different, but at its core are shelter and other basic human needs: like food, water and sleep. These needs are universal and only once they are met can we focus on our more complex needs that are psychological and social in nature: friends, family, our health and employment, for example.

When considering our needs – beyond the basic – into the mix of moving house, many social factors come into play. What is the neighbourhood like? What types of people live there? Are they like us? Can I get to a bus or train easily? Are there parks and shops close-by? And what about the local schools?

These questions all influence, not only how we live and socialise in a particular area, but they also have an impact on property prices.

Let’s look at schools, for example. Schools are microcosms of the greater community. When considering an area to move into, even if you don’t have children, look at its local schools and the broader community engagement of schools to get a feel for the area. Schools will often exhibit characteristics that answer questions you have about an area.

We’re not suggesting loitering around schools – that could be creepy! But check out the websites of local schools and if it’s the right time of year, definitely go to school fetes and carnivals. Also, check out school rankings via NAPLAN (regardless of whether you love or loath it), as it can be a general indicator of an area’s suitability for you and your family.

So, for those people and families out there trying to get settled as the school year starts, remember to go easy on yourself. Moving IS stressful. For the sake of those around you, remember to look after yourself: go for that walk after work, get on the trampoline with the kids, or if you’re in the Brisbane-area, head up to Mt Coot-tha for a sunset ice-cream.

By taking little steps outside of your ‘must-dos’ – especially when you are really busy and stressed – delivers immense benefits to you and everyone around you. Go on. Do it. We dare you! Break routine and see if it helps you feel more settled.

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Hicks Real Estate is a Brisbane based, full-service real estate agency supporting buyers and sell as well as renters and property investors. With almost 20 years experience in the local market, we are the real estate experts you can rely upon.