13 Sep 2019

Match lifestyle with location to find your perfect property

We all know that location is all in making the most of your money when you start your online property search. 
Top suburbs like Stoneygate in Leicester; West Bridgford in Nottingham; and Birmingham’s Edgbaston tend to hold their value whatever the state of the economy; the spectacular Derbyshire Dales and rolling Rutland countryside are top spots for people seeking a rural idyll.

But choice of location is not always about the most sought after places to live; it involves careful decisions on which area will most match your needs.

If you want to move to a new home close to where you already live, you’ll know where to go.  But if you’re moving across the country, deciding on an area is more difficult. It takes time to know somewhere well enough to judge whether you want to live there - you can’t make a snap decision on a single property viewing.

The UK housing market is highly localised and only thorough research of individual areas can help you confidently put in a bid quickly should a string of buyers be homing in on your chosen property.

Choose an area you can afford

Look online to find out if the areas you are interested have the kind of properties you both want and can afford. If you’re looking for a house but don’t have £3m, avoid Chelsea. Decide how much you have to spend and then search homes online to see what different areas offer for your money.

Where is cheaper?

City centres tend to be dearer than the countryside; the South more expensive than the North; and London more than three times as expensive as the Northeast or Wales. Regionally, annual house prices are rising fastest in our own Midlands, Wales and the North West. 

What type of property do you want?

The minimum number of bedrooms; whether you want a good-sized garden for play and leisure; and a garage are all considerations; as is the space inside, such as if you want open plan living or an en suite bathroom.

Where suits your lifestyle?

Do you want a vibrant place with buzzing nightlife and plenty to do, or somewhere quietly rural with a laidback lifestyle? 

How long will it take to get to work and how close do you want to be to your family and friends? Does the area have a shop or post office? Village shops and pubs are closing so don’t be totally dependent on just one.

Good schools are crucial if you have, or want to start a family. Ofsted’s website provides ratings and local councils the details of catchment areas. Living where there are lots of other families is a helpful indicator.

Check out the area

Spend time exploring the areas you’re keen on. Visit local shops, pubs and parks. Try out local public transport. Are there any major building schemes coming to the area that will affect property prices? Above all, can you see yourself living there?

Take the long term view

Consider the long-term value of your house. This may be your biggest asset, outstripping your pension.

Cheap areas surrounded by expensive areas are likely to gentrify, unless there is a major reason why they are cheap, such as bad housing, nearby motorways, chemical plants or post-industrial wasteland. To be on the safer side, an all-round good value area, with sound properties and reliable transport links, is an excellent bet.

Life can vary dramatically street by street. Get the lowdown from an experienced estate agent who will have good insider information about  local variations. 

Sales specialists at low-cost estate agent Online Estate Agents can provide friendly, informed advice on your next move. Call 0330 1244 786 to speak with an expert. 

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