You want to buy a property but are not sure where? Before you look at buying your new home, you need to decide on the area. It could be the most important decision you’ll ever have to make. If you get it wrong, you may be unhappy with where you live, and then have to face the costs of moving again. Whether you’re looking for your first home, a fresh new start or planning to find the perfect home where you can spend your retirement years, there’s much more to buying a home than finding a property you like and signing on the dotted line. It’s important to look at your options and what you think is an ideal location.
WEIGHING UP THE FOLLOWING FACTORS BEFORE YOU COMMIT
A major factor for most buyers is the cost of a home in different areas. For example, many people can’t afford to buy in central London or desirable commuter towns. You’ll need to research the typical property prices in areas you like to find out which are realistic on your budget.
2. FAMILY AND FRIENDS
It’s also important to factor in how close you’ll be to your loved ones. Whether you want to be able to meet up daily, weekly, monthly or less frequently will partly determine which areas you’d be comfortable living in.
If you have children or plan to have them soon, the quality of local schools might be a deciding factor in where you live. Look at school league tables and find out what catchment areas they allow students from, which you can find out from the local authority.
You’ll need to consider how long you’re prepared to commute to get to your current workplace. Or, if you’re relocating and leaving your current job, how easily available are suitable jobs in the area.
If you love to be outdoors and need access to open space, you’d likely prefer to be in the countryside than in the town centre.
If access to gyms, restaurants and cinemas is important to you, you might be more at home in a city than in a rural town.
Of course, there is a balancing act to be done in relation to the type of amenities you appreciate and the location you’d prefer to live in, and transport is also a major factor. A countryside location with a train link close to a major city might be ideal for you.
Whether you choose the town, city or countryside, it’s always possible to find areas with a good sense of community, if that’s important to you. You can check local websites and social media groups for the locations that you’re considering, to see how much activity there is.
9. PROPERTY TYPE
If you’re looking for a property of a certain type, it might determine where you can live. For example, you won’t find many cottages in urban areas. If you need a large family home, you’re more likely to find it in the suburbs than the city.
If you’re hoping that your home will increase in value substantially while you live in it, this might influence your choice of location. You can sometimes spot potential by researching what plans are currently in the pipeline to improve the local area and transport links.