When looking for a new home it can be pretty easy to get caught up in the sight of the house, the look and feel of the rooms and even the lovely front or back garden. But it is also important to pay attention to the area around the prospective property as this can have a great effect on the quality of your life should you choose to buy.
In the same way that tenants looking at renting a flat or a house should consider their relationship with the landlord, you should start looking at the local area to check whether or not it is suitable for you or your family to live in. There is little to no point in buying a house if the area surrounding that property is not going to be a good environment to raise a family.
Here are 5 aspects you should consider before making an offer on a new home, provided by Sussex based estate agent Hunters;
Is the property in a good location? Is it right in the town centre or is it on the outskirts of town? Depending on your lifestyle and interests, the two may be very separate things. For example childless couples might do better in the centre of town as it is close to the job market and close to all the action, whereas those growing a small family might find a better place on the outskirts of town with room for expansion. It all depends on your individual circumstances and what you plan to achieve with the new property.
- Access to Schools, Public Transport
If you’re planning on moving to a place where you can safely expand your family, you want to consider access to schools as a priority. Check whether or not the property in question will be within the catchment area of local schools, or if there are any nearby buses that go along school routes.
You will also want to have a look at public transport if neither of you can drive. Access to public transport is always a plus, even if you have a car as sometimes it can be more convenient than having to drive.
- Condition of Neighbourhood Homes & Gardens
If the local neighbourhood gardens and properties are in good order, this is a good sign. Look for ‘neighbourhood watch’ signs or flowers that you would have to cultivate. You want your neighbours to be at least slightly house proud as this is a good indication of the quality of the neighbourhood. If there are any skips or refuse areas about, see if you can find out how long they have been there. If it has been a while, this is a bad sign.
- Activities Occurring in the Local Vicinity
Again this is dependent on how you plan to live but you want to check whether or not there will be a lot of noise if you live near a park or across from tennis courts. Are there football matches at the weekends? Is there dedicated parking for those attending the matches? These are important questions to ask as it can be annoying to find your normal parking space has been taken up by a ‘soccer mom’ every Sunday.
- Accessible Parking/Nearby Parking
Not all properties will have parking available but in some cases there will be nearby free parking or at least accessible parking if you live on a complex. If you don’t have a car this is not a priority, but it is always good to check for when visitors come round.
At the end of the day, where you live is up to you. However there is only so much enjoyment you can get out of living in a nice house in a rough or backwards neighbourhood. Doing the research and making sure the property as well as its surrounding area suits all your needs is essential, otherwise you may end up falling short of the mark. There is always safety in making sure the property has everything you need.