House-hunting is at once an exciting and frustrating undertaking. There are many factors to consider when looking for a new home, not in the least of which may be the state of property values in a given region. Location, though, is arguably the most important thing to nail down in your hunt for a viable home. How, though, should you narrow down your options with regard to location?
Whenever you move, logistical concerns are often high in your list of priorities. Even if you are moving your entire life, career included, across the country, you will need to consider your transport to and from work – let alone to family, supermarkets or to visit friends. As such, transport links and proximity to public transport are important to ascertain when looking at properties. Bus and train links are ideal for cutting driving costs, but proximity to a motorway can also make a great deal of difference to the quality of your commute.
Neighbourhood and Amenities
Of course, it is hard to overlook the importance of the neighbourhood itself when narrowing down your property hunt. You want to make sure that the neighbourhood itself – the bricks and mortar of the homes and the quality of their gardens – match your personal expectations.
On a separate note, you will also want to ensure that your neighbourhood is close enough to local amenities to make living there comfortable. You might use Google Maps to virtually walk around neighbourhoods, particularly new ones comprising of new build homes; doing this can give a clear idea of the practicality and feel of the area to which you are moving, even if relatively new as neighbourhoods go.
Separate still to the neighbourhood itself and the amenities it may possess, there is the concept of community. Communities are defined by the people that constitute them, and the community in a given neighbourhood could prove to be make-or-break for your moving plans.
A tightly-knit community can be an abundantly safe one, and a great environment in which to raise children. However, overweeningly precious communities can also become difficult when it comes to matters of neighbourhood aesthetics or conduct; if you want to keep to yourself without fear of regular hand-posted letters about the placement of your bins, you may wish to opt for somewhere less community-led.
The final, unavoidable factor – at least, for families, or for couples looking for somewhere to raise children – is that of schooling. Local education authorities and the performance of local schools could have a major influence on which areas feel right to you; is there a school nearby that you trust with your children? What are the catchment areas for your ideal schools, and do the properties you are viewing fall within them?