Choosing a location

When it comes to moving house, we’d all like to live in a good location. However, searching for an area to buy in comes down to what you can afford and what is right for you. What type of lifestyle do you lead? What facilities and local amenities are most important for you? When you pinpoint these factors, it’ll be easier to decide on the best location for you.

Here are some useful considerations:

  • What would the commute to work be like?
  • Are there adequate transport links?
  • What are the crime rates in the area?
  • Are there sufficient local amenities?
  • What is the parking like locally?
  • Should the area be close to friends and family?
  • What local leisure activities are there on offer?
  • How good are the local schools?

Once you have decided what aspects are important to you, it’s time to examine potential areas in detail.

Transport

Transport links are often one of the most important aspects of an area. From first time buyers to large families, it is useful to know that the commutes to work and school are safe and reliable. For example, being a convenient distance to motorway networks, tubes, trains, trams and bus routes can make all the difference to the desirability of a property.

Local amenities

Does the potential area have a thriving community hub? This applies just as much to cities as small villages. Here are some examples of the things you may want to look out for.

  • Supermarkets
  • Local shops
  • Petrol stations
  • Post Office
  • Dentists
  • Doctors
  • Gyms
  • Libraries

The question you may want to ask yourself is how far away are you prepared to be from these amenities? You may decide that some things must be within walking distance, while you would be prepared to travel for others.

Leisure and entertainment

The hallmark of a thriving community is often a good choice of leisure and entertainment options. Leisure centres, swimming pools, cinemas, restaurants and pubs can be great assets to an area, especially if you have a family. Again, ask yourself how important proximity to these things is to you. Remember, these places may attract people from outside the area so it could mean extra noise or traffic. You may prefer a quieter life, or access to the countryside or coast – the key is working out what is most important to you.

Schools

Local schools can often be a key factor when considering a location – both reputation and proximity. To find out more about schools and their catchment areas, speak to the area’s local council or visit their website.

New developments in the area

It can be surprising how many people neglect to check what possible property or commercial developments are on the horizon in their chosen area. Of course, solicitors will carry out searches and identify any plans that may affect the immediate vicinity. However, it pays to do your homework too.

Start reading local papers and talk to locals in the area. A change in use of a nearby commercial property or a new housing development could change your opinion on the area or a property. Will it affect desirability in the future?

Things to watch out for

There may be some negative aspects of your chosen area you might want to look out for. For example, pylons, waste treatment plants, chemical plants, busy rail lines and flight paths could be considered undesirable characteristics. Things like this can sometimes have a negative effect on the value of a property. The upside is that if you’re prepared to live with any of these features nearby, the property’s price might reflect this and you might pick up a bargain. However, remember it could be difficult, and take longer, to sell in the future.

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The material contained in this article is intended for information purposes only and not as advice.

You should obtain professional legal or other advice if you are unsure about the effect on you of any matter in this article.

Published: 26 January 2018

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