Researching the Area/Location

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Can you honestly say you have thought about the following things and can answer the questions about the area in which you are looking to buy? 

In some cases people purchase property in a certain area/location because their circumstances dictate it, others first find a property they like and then begin to consider the locale. Either way it is important that you research the area as fully as possible and think about any implications the information you find may raise.

Whether you are looking for a nice area for your family home, looking at possible letting income on a property or a developer considering the potential resale value – it as always about the location!

Below is a list of things to think about when researching an area. Although it is not an exhaustive list it gives you a starting point on things to consider.

  • What are other properties in the area being marketed at, and are they going?

It’s all well and good thinking you will be bagging yourself a bargain but if the higher priced properties are getting no interest maybe they are just overpriced – or do you need to ask yourself if it is the first sign of a not so desirable property/area?

  • What are the local schools like and how close are they?

This is aimed at developers and landlords also – there is absolutely no point having a nice big family home to sell/let when one of the first things people with a family will look at is the reputation and results of nearby schools.

  • Transport Links?

Is there a station nearby that may interest commuters?

Is there a good and regular bus route that may just save you from taking the teenagers to meet their friends all the time?

Does it take an hour to get to the nearest motorway?

  • Convenience / Entertainment

Where is the nearest shop and when is it open? – Important for that desparately needed pint of milk or loaf of bread!

What pubs, clubs, restaurants are nearby? – This is not always a good thing.

  • How does the area change?

Try to visit the area on different days and at different times. Does it feel safe at night?

  • Talk!

Go into the shop or have a drink in the pub and perhaps start a conversation – what are the local’s opinions of the area? Do they seem friendly? Is there a strong community feel?

  • Costs

Have a look at the council tax rates for the area.

  • Check your mobile

This is also mentioned on the property viewings list but check your mobile, do you have a good signal? There are a lot of villages around that struggle to get good signal, if any, and this could be extremely annoying - we cannot stress enough the importance of this to some people.

  • Future plans

Research if there is any planning or proposed developments in the area which may change its desirability or the dynamic.

  • If there is a similar area/location you are considering – compare what you could get for your money.

If there is another place that is similar in all of the above it would be wise to compare the prices and movement of the market to help you decide.

These points are by no means always ‘deal breakers’ but they are certainly valid questions to ask yourself and look into before committing to purchasing.

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