How to choose a new place to live in

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Every person grows up with an idea about their dream property in mind, and while there is generally something out there for everyone, finding a home in the area you want is not always possible.

It is often said that the majority of UK house buyers move within 10 miles of their current property, due to family, school or work commitments, but when you just cannot find the right place, it is sometimes necessary to move a little further away.

Regardless of where you move, there are some important factors to consider, which could play a major part in determining just where your new home is.

House prices

It is a well-known fact that prices in some parts of the UK are generally higher than others, with a vast discrepancy between housing in London and the rest of the country, but there are also significant regional variations.

According to the latest report from Halifax, UK house prices in the three months to October 2015 were 9.7% higher than in the same three months a year earlier, and 2.8% higher than the May to July period, indicating a rising trend.

However, prices vary greatly between regions, with Lloyds calculating that average home values were £137,000 in the North East in the third quarter of 2015, but £296,000 in the South East in the same period.

As such, it is wise to research house prices to determine exactly what is affordable, while looking at long-term projections to estimate how values will change in the years ahead. Our blog on predictions for the housing market in 2016 offers some insight.

Schools

Families with children under the age of 18 often find moving house difficult due to school and college commitments, particularly as many children’s best friends are at school and some bonds have been formed over several years.

This does not mean that the move cannot be made, however. Instead, careful research needs to be carried out into local schools to decide which is best for your children and their requirements.

Under UK law, every school website must publish certain information, including details of the curriculum, admission criteria, behaviour and disability policies, and links to Ofsted reports and performance data.

It is also wise to check school league tables and actually visit specific schools, which will help to provide a more informed opinion. Details on the various options available are located on the Government services website.

Transport

In today’s 24/7 society, it is important to be mobile at all times, and having adequate transport links is therefore essential wherever you live.

If you are moving further away from your place of work, you will need to bear in mind the changes to your commute, although favourable road links can actually reduce your travel time if you are located close to a motorway or train station.

Likewise, a new job can often be a catalyst for moving house, and it is therefore wise to research the area and its transport infrastructure before agreeing to any job offer.

The average British worker commutes for a total of 41 minutes each day and has to travel a total of just under 17 miles on their daily trip to and from work. Living somewhere with good transport links can help to minimise this commute and allow you to spend more time at home with your family.

Amenities

Regardless of where you are in the UK, you’re never too far from a supermarket, but local shops can have a major bearing on the attraction of a new home.

Nobody wants to travel 30 miles for a haircut, while a gym membership is not worthwhile if it takes an hour to get there, so it is important to gauge the distance of these amenities from your house.

The area around your home is just as important as the home itself, so think about the nearest pubs, restaurants, shopping centres and tourist attractions before you make the big move.