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6 ways to learn about the local area when you move house

Moving to a new location should be exciting, but to make the most of it, you should find out as much about the area as possible. Researching is important, ideally before you’ve even put an offer in. Here are our tips for making sure you know as much as possible before you decide to move to a new area.

 

1. Get out and about

If your new town, city or village isn’t far away from your current home, try spending some time walking and driving around the area. Check out the local restaurants, shopping centres and sports facilities. When you’re exploring, ask the people you meet to be honest about the place where they live. They might have some insights that could help you decide whether the location is right for you.

out and about

2. Join the online community

online community

If you’re on Facebook, Twitter or another social media network, see if there are any local groups you can join. People are usually very open and honest, so 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.  

3. Check what’s available for children

If you have young children or grandchildren, you could see what activities the local children’s centres offer. If you are moving to a large town, it is highly likely that there will be a suitable team or club they can join. Depending on their interests and where you move to, you may need to travel a considerable distance so that they can join a club. 

children on see saw

4. Is there plenty to keep you entertained?

bowling

Whether you like going to pubs, cinemas, ice skating rinks, bowling centres or social clubs, it’s worth seeing if your new location matches up with your expectations. If you’re passionate about fitness, it’s worth investigating whether you will be living close to a gym.

If you love visiting parks and green spaces, check that there are plenty in your new area, as you might not want to travel far every time you fancy a nice walk or jog. Try and read the local paper to keep abreast of what’s going on, making a note of any new developments that the council may be planning. New build developers often invest in green spaces and community development, so that the area becomes a thriving community that people are happy to live in. It’s well worth finding out from the developer what they have planned before you buy, so that you know exactly how the area around your new home will develop over time.

5. Is there a hospital nearby?

If you move somewhere remote, and you need to visit A&E, you may be required to travel up to ten times as far as someone from an urban area. If a member of your family needs to visit a hospital frequently, for instance, you’ll want to be located quite close to a hospital.

nhs

6. What are the transport links like?

bus stop

You’ll also want to consider the area’s transport links and job opportunities before you decide if the location is definitely for you and your family. Do you need to commute to work? If so, factor this in to your search as the transport links in the area can make a huge difference to your 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. 

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