Good morning all, I've been deep diving in these forums for at least the last month and it has been a WEALTH of information. TL;DR / Exec Summary: Paralysis by Analysis. I want to buy something that isn't going to tank in the next 2+ years as we will upgrade. Don't want to mistime the market and wait out for unreasonable discounts but also don't want to buy high. Can afford up to $750k but would prefer to be as close to $600k as possible. Melbourne and surrounds to the North and East. Our Purchase Fundamentals So we're looking at a PPOR, as First Home Buyers we're looking to keep to as close to $600k as possible for Stamp Duty concessions/exemption. We're happy to throw on extra but it's mostly about opportunity cost on the stamp duty concessions and being first homeowners. Areas we would be interested in are North to North East and East of Melbourne. Wife works in Doncaster and I'm going to study for the next two years so doesn't really matter for me. I just like good food and coffee. We are excluding OTP and New Build Apartments. Houses and Town Houses are included in the search. Your Thoughts - Rough Diamond in the Rough? Pricing information for 2 bed House by suburb (sourced on Domain) Preston - $727k Thornbury - $875k Heidelberg West - $573k Heidelberg Heights - $629k Rosanna - $720k Reservoir - $595k Bulleen - $849k Ivanhoe - $800k So nestled in either what has already gentrified or what was already expensive suburbs are the Heidelbergs and Reservoir. Crime rates are certainly up there, with the Heidelberg's ruling the top spots of Banyule crime statistics and I hear Reservoir on the news every second night. What was once a very violent place is becoming a little more like above-average violence, and other than theft if you stay out of people's business you should be somewhat ok. Surely this should subside with gentrification? I have noticed that there are many amazing metrics and ratios that you all use that I can't seem to get a hand on as a first home buyer (other than property research on Domain, REA and my property reports with Lendi). Is there a methodology/data to determine or guesstimate rate of gentrification? (Household income | City of Banyule | Community profile shows income data for 2016 but cannot see a rate of change setting or data anywhere, for example). Am I overthinking this? Should I just focus on buying in this area because it's good value for money or should I avoid it because... well... because. Alternative suburbs I imagine would be Thomastown and Watsonia that would have a somewhat lower median compared to Greater Melbourne but in a somewhat safer / gentrified suburb. Really appreciate the opportunity to read your responses and see what else I can learn about this fascinating world of Real Estate. You guys have such interesting takes and perceptions on value and this community is really great to learn from.