Looking for advice on the best area to buy?

We currently live in Airport West and only have one car. I walk to work in Airport West and my partner drives to Collingwood We are looking to spend approximately $350k on a 2+ bedroom house, the most important thing to us is space in the garden or a work shed as my partner would like to set up a workshop at home. I prefer older houses for the look, and find new homes unappealing and lacking personality. We were thinking of Craigieburn as the quality you can get for less money is quite good there – however, have heard bad things about the area in relation to riff raff and hoons. We plan to have kids in the next few years too.
Being currently on 457 visas,(perm in 1.5 yrs) we will probably have to wait until we get perm to borrow a home loan. We really don’t know many areas around greater Melbourne and don’t mind living in the West – as long as the commute is easy enough for both of us (I would probably buy a car if we moved further away from my workplace).
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Sash 2yrs+
See my other response about the suburbs in the region. The most pleasant outer suburb are Doreen and Diamond Creek. They are the most beautiful peaceful and family friendly with a higher proportion of professional and educated people. As you move West these things start dropping. Craigieburn certainly has some rough edges and people but it's far better than its immediate neighbors. Before anyone misunderstands me craigieburn is full of really nice and lovely people. It's just that the proportion of tough people and hoons is somewhat higher than in the suburbs I mentioned above.
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Mount Ridley estate in Highlands is the best estate in Highlands but it is also pricey.
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