6 questions to ask before buying in a new area
It's a big decision to buy a house in a new location. So before committing to a purchase, it's important to learn as much as possible about your potential new surroundings. From getting to know the area, to looking at local transport links and schools – research is key. To help you make the right decision, here are 6 questions to ask before buying in a new area.
1. What is the neighbourhood like?
Spend some time walking and driving around the new area. Take a look at the local parks, shopping centres and sports facilities. Make sure to explore both during the day and at night, as this will give you a more rounded view. When strolling around, ask your potential new neighbours questions about the street and surrounding community. If you're looking to buy a new build, don't be afraid to stop and ask the developer what the area will be like. Barratt Homes have a dedicated on-site team that are there to answer any questions you may have. They might have some valuable insights that could help you decide whether the location is right for you.
2. What do locals say about the area?
If you’re on Facebook, Twitter or another social media network, see if there are any local groups you can join. There may be other people like you who are waiting to move into their new build home. If you have any questions about the area, or indeed the street that you’re looking to buy on, don’t be afraid to ask the people in the group. They may even be able to offer advice and support about the buying process.
3. What are the local schools and clubs like?
If you have young children or grandchildren, research local children’s centres and the activities they offer. If you're moving to a large town, it's highly likely that there will be a suitable team or club they can join.
Even more importantly, take your time to learn about the local schools. Newspapers will release school league tables, and you can view OFSTED results online.
4. Is there plenty to keep you entertained?
Whether you enjoy visiting pubs, cinemas, restaurants, or social clubs – it’s worth seeing if your new location has everything you need to keep your hobbies. If you’re passionate about fitness, investigate the local gyms and swimming pools. If you love visiting parks and green spaces, check that there are plenty in your new area, as you might not want to travel every time you fancy a walk or jog.
5. Is the house a good investment?
Read the local paper to keep abreast of what’s going on in the area, making a note of any new developments that the council may be planning. Or there might be information on the local council website. New build developers, including David Wilson, invest a lot in green spaces and community spaces to make locations more liveable. This can increase the value of your property, so you'll know whether you'll be making a good investment.
6. What are the transport links like?
You’ll want to consider the area’s transport links and job opportunities before you decide if the location is right for you and your family. Do you need to commute to work? If so, factor this in to your search as transport links in the area can make a huge difference to your quality of life.
Ask your estate agent about local transport links, or for more in-depth and accurate information, use the Traveltime Distance Calculator, which is excellent for finding out commuting distances between your home and workplace. Apps such as CityMapper provide detailed route information in larger towns and cities, while if you are planning on cycling to work, cycling charity Sustrans provides routes as well as cycling tips.