Wednesday, 15 August 2018
If you’re moving to a new area, doing your research before you even start house-hunting is invaluable. It’s best to know the locations you feel comfortable in, so that when that dream house does come onto the market, you’re confident to put in an offer.
Getting a feel for the area
- Visit the area at different times of day, including night time. Even better, stay over at a local B&B or hotel to really get a feel for the place. Don’t just stick to the main roads, explore the side streets and less frequented areas too.
- Look at other properties in the area – are they well-maintained or in need of repair?
- If you are planning on commuting using public transport, make the journey between your desired area and the train station or bus stop, to get an idea of the distance.
- Find out where your nearest amenities are, such as your local doctor, supermarket or leisure centre.
- Check out the local cafes, restaurants and pubs to see if they are the sorts of places you’d want to spend time. Also, if local eateries are thriving and lively, this indicates that the local economy is good. However, a strong local economy could also be reflected in higher house prices.
- Explore areas just outside your desired postcode, you may find they are a lot cheaper but still have many of the features you’re looking for.
- Make sure you visit the area at rush hour, to get a real sense of how busy the roads are.
Doing your homework
Some important information can also be found online. Make sure you research the following issues before deciding on an area:
- Is your desired location a conservation area? Being in a conservation area might mean that your house is affected by special controls (called ‘Article 4 Directions’). These restrict work you can normally do without planning permission, such as replacing a door or window or altering gutters and downpipes. You can contact the local council to find out where the conservation areas are.
- Is the area at risk from any environmental factors, such as flooding or subsidence? You can visit gov.uk to find out more about this.
- If you have a family, check out the local schools most recent report using the Ofsted website. You can also find performance tables via the DFES website.
- What are the crime rates in your desired area? The police.co.uk website has an excellent search function that allows you to find out how many crimes have been reported in the area over the past month, as well as the types of crimes and the status of the investigation into each one.
- Search for articles on your desired area in the local press – this is a great way of gathering general information and getting a sense of what’s going on in the local community.
Once you have identified your perfect area or areas, you’re ready to get in touch with local estate agents and find out what’s on the market. If you’re looking for property within the Midlands, do give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you with your search for that dream home in the dream location!
Rugby: 01788 564666
Northampton: 01604 823456
Daventry: 01327 316880
Atherstone: 01827 718021
Towcester: 01327 353575
Lutterworth: 01455 559203