How to choose the right area for your new home

What should you research before reaching a decision?

When you’re looking for a new home, there’s more to consider than just the property itself. The location and surrounding area could be just as significant to your enjoyment of living in the property, so there are a few things you should research before reaching a decision.

Crime

What you need to know:

Local crime statistics are crucial to your decision on whether to live in a certain area. It’s not just important for your feeling of safety; living in an area with a high crime rate could also affect how much you’ll pay for your home insurance and car insurance.

How to find out:

You can enter your future postcode on the police.uk website to see detailed crime statistics. This includes a map of where the offences were reported, so you can see exactly how close they were to your potential home. For more details, you can check local news reporting.

Schools

What you need to know:

If you have children, or plan to, you’ll want to check which school catchment areas a property location falls into, how well these schools have performed in the past, and what their admission criteria is.

How to find out:

You can obtain a list of state-funded schools from the local council, which will include their admission criteria. You can then check the website for each school, where they are required to publish details of their curriculum, their behavioural policy, their special educational needs policy, and links to their Ofsted reports and performance data.

Health services

What you need to know:

You’ll need to register with a local GP, dentist, and optician, who serve the area you plan to live in and are currently accepting new patients.

How to find out:

The NHS website allows you to search for all practices within reach of a particular postcode, providing their opening hours, services, and reviews from current and past patients.

Transport links

What you need to know:

You’ll need to check that your daily commute is possible within a time that’s acceptable to you. This might include how close the nearest bus or train station is, how long you’ll spend on public transport, how many changes are necessary, whether there is a cycle route, where you can park your car, and how much the journey will cost.

How to find out:

It’s possible to get all these answers using a journey planner, such as Citymapper or Google Maps. You might want to try the journey once or twice, to see for yourself how easy, busy or fast it is.

Essential facilities

What you need to know:

You’ll want to know how far away your nearest supermarket is, and which other shops, banks, etc. are within walking or driving distance (depending on your personal preference).

How to find out:

You can research online to find out most of this information, but it’s also worth making a visit in person to see how easy to reach these facilities are, and if they meet your needs.

Leisure and recreation

What you need to know:

You’ll also be interested in other facilities, such as restaurants, theatres, cinemas, bars and pubs, gyms, and parks. You may also want to check what local events take place, and if there are communities and meetings for people who share similar interests to you.

How to find out:

Facebook groups can be a great way to find recommendations of local establishments and details of events.

When you’re doing your research, a combination of online resources, in-person visits, and personal recommendations from people in the community should give you all the information you need.

All Rights Reserved. Information contained in this article and on our website does not constitute advice and is provided for information purposes only. Recipients should not act upon it, but should seek professional advice relevant to their own situation.

THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE SECURING OTHER DEBTS AGAINST YOUR HOME.

YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE.