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How to choose the right neighbourhood

Posted 30/04/2024 by Reeds Rains
Categories: Buying
Row of houses

When searching for a new home, one key consideration is location. An important guide, but difficult if you’re not sure exactly where you want to live, and narrowing down the right neighbourhood can be complex. While proximity to friends and family is important, several other factors can come into play, from the practicalities of transport links and services to the amenities that will make a difference to your well-being. In this guide, we walk you through the key considerations to help you make an informed decision.

One of the first considerations is choosing the area you want to live in and the proximity to the people and places you need and want to be close to. You might find the perfect property, but if it’s at the other end of the country from where you and your loved ones live and work, for most that’s a non-starter. Consider creating a list of places within a desirable driving distance, taking into account factors like commute times and traffic patterns. Other transport links are also important, so check out the proximity of bus stops and train stations and the frequency of services to them. Notably, in cities throughout the UK, proximity to a train station can increase house prices by up to 10.5%. You might want to have a walk around the neighbourhood, or follow a bike route to get a feel for the area, however you like to get around.

Proximity to a train station can increase house prices by up to 10.5%

Whilst transport considerations can help you narrow down places, feeling safe and secure in your neighbourhood is also key. If you’re familiar with a place, your judgement can be reliable, but if you’re moving somewhere completely new, checking local crime rates is due diligence that can help provide confidence and reassurance. You can also look into whether there are schemes like a neighbourhood watch group, or evaluate whether security measures on your home would make you feel safe in the community.

When you’re thinking about the suitability of an area you need to consider what services are most important to you. If you’re liable to running out of milk you might want a local corner shop, or if you have a large family you might need a supermarket nearby for regular food shops. If you have or plan to have children, it’s important to consider the nurseries, schools and colleges in an area, they are an important factor for many home buyers – with schools rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted boosting house prices by up to 10%. For most people, and in particular elderly home buyers, it might be worth considering proximity to other services like GP surgeries.

Beyond the practicalities, it’s also important to consider the things that you need to enjoy a neighbourhood, do you want to be near a golf course, a gym, or maybe one of the 21,600 community playing fields across the UK? A local high street adds significantly to a neighbourhood’s vibrancy, whether it’s a little café or an elegant bistro, one survey found that 64% of people believe local restaurants are important in building a sense of community, whilst nearly a third of people felt that local bars and eateries add value to their wellbeing. Take into account these lifestyle factors that align with your interests and preferences.

Ultimately, your neighbourhood should provide a sense of wellbeing. For many people green spaces are a way to achieve that, with research suggesting that living within 300 metres of 1 hectare of green space has a positive impact. Other people might dream of a coastal lifestyle and find one of the 18.5% of houses which are within a 30-minute walk of a beach.

It's worth doing the simple thing of spending time in a neighbourhood. See what it’s like at rush hour, walk around on a quiet Sunday afternoon, or enjoy a Friday night out there. Trust your intuition.

Finding that perfect location takes careful consideration of practical factors and reflection about what you really want. So assess transport networks, services and amenities, but don’t forget to consider the personal preferences that contribute to your everyday enjoyment. The most important part of finding out if a home is in the perfect place for you, is seeing how you feel there.

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Source: LSL Land & New Homes

The Reeds Rains Content Marketing Team

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