Everyone knows that location, location, location is key to home buying success. But what makes a great location for one buyer might not make a great location for another.
For example, first-time buyers may well be driven by price rather than neighbourhood statistics, professionals will want good commuter links, while families will be looking for great schools and low crime rates.
But finding the right location can be tricky unless you know just what to look for. Here’s our quick guide:
The Right Postcode
When it comes to choosing your new postcode, choose very carefully. It’s worth remembering that once you move in, you can do just about anything you want to your new home to make it just how you want it. But it’s not so easy to change the location if you get it wrong.
Before you’re ready to make the move, you might want to check out the following factors which will all help to give you a well-informed overall picture of your potential new neighbourhood:
Especially important for family buyers, the quality of local education can not only affect a decision to move, it can also have a significant impact on property values. In some cases, owning a home in the catchment area of a good school can add anywhere up to 34% to the asking price of a property.
If you’re moving to get your children into a better school, be prepared to pay extra for the privilege.
If you’re a professional who needs to commute to work, first class transport links by both road and rail will be an important consideration when choosing the right area. You want to be able to travel quickly and easily between home and your place of work without spending hours stuck in traffic.
While you will no doubt not wish to have a railway line at the bottom of the garden, a location which has a train station or bus stop within walking distance will help ease the pain of the daily commute.
Local neighbourhood crime statistics can generally give a really good overview about an area. Nobody wants to live somewhere which is renowned for anti-social behaviour, or where there are higher than average burglary rates for example. You can get statistics on a local area from the local police.
The people you have living around you will say a lot about an area. It’s worth checking out the neighbourhood profile of the local area (credit status, marital status, wealth, ethnicity, religion, health and economic activity, to name a few) which you can do on checkmyarea.com.
It’s also a good idea to visit the area at different times of the day and night to build up a picture of any potential troublesome times or indeed whether the location is as peaceful at night as it appears through the day.