How To Find Your Next Property

How To Find Your Next Property

*This is a collaborative post

So, you’ve decided that it’s time to move house and you’re putting the wheels in motion. Before you let yourself fall in love with anything, it’s important to spend time researching and looking for the right area and the right property. It’s not just a case of finding somewhere pretty with the right amount of bedrooms and a kitchen diner. 

There’s a few things that can often fall to the wayside when you fall in love with the aesthetics of a property. Get your sensible head on and create a checklist of things to tick off and look into before you commit to an area or a property. After all, moving house is one of the biggest changes you can make in your life. It’s worth getting it right.

Check out the neighbourhood
Get familiar with the neighbourhood, or neighbourhoods, that you’re looking for property in. Whether it’s somewhere you’ve visited before or not, take a few trips and imagine yourself living there. It’s a good idea to take trips at different times of the day. Does it still feel safe at night? Does the street become overcrowded with cars during school pick-up and drop-off times? 

Make use of the local amenities, such as the local pubs, shops and restaurants to get a feel for the community. Perhaps even speak to the locals in the area and ask them about their experiences living in the area. After all, visiting somewhere and actually living somewhere are two very different things. 

Check crime rates
Similarly, you might want to check out an area’s crime rate. No matter how nice a property might be, if it’s a diamond in the rough then you might struggle to settle - particularly if you have a family. Living in a crime ridden area may also have a big impact on things such as your car insurance, sending policy premiums rocketing. 

CIA Landlord Insurance have created a handy local property stats tool that gives you an area’s official crime rate, even going as far as to let you know how many crimes have been committed in the area and what those crimes were. If you’ve got a family, there’s a chance that being in a safe area is important to you so you’ll want to look for an area with a rate of 10 or below.

Check average house prices
Another factor that the local property stats tool can help you with is average house prices. When searching for your next home, you’ll want to get a feel for the current property market and be sure that your budget realistically matches up. It’s also useful knowing that you’re getting the property you want for a good price. There’s not much point looking at national averages, because it can differ so dramatically across the country.

If things are looking a little expensive, why not look at the neighbouring villages or towns? You might be surprised by how much prices jump by moving just a few miles away. You’re still in the area you want to be, but you’re getting away with paying a little less.

Check for a flood zone
You won’t want to learn the hard way about whether a property is in a flood zone. Your insurance premiums, property’s value and of course your quality of life will all be really negatively affected if you’re hit by water damage. Do what you can to avoid it by checking on the Environment Agency website. If you do end up buying a property in a flood zone, you might struggle to re-sell it, as savvy buyers will do all they can to avoid this.

Important questions to ask
If you’re viewing a property that you’re seriously considering, now is your chance to get your detective head on and get nosey! You have every right to ask every question that’s on your mind. Here’s a few that should be on your list:

  • How long has the property been on the market?
  • How many viewings has the property had?
  • How many offers have been made?
  • Has there ever been any problems with the neighbours?
  • Why are the vendors moving?
  • Are there allotted parking spaces?

These questions will only scratch the surface when finding your new home, so feel free to grill the seller. Most importantly, it’s a very exciting process - so enjoy it! But try not to get carried away with nice looking houses and cheap prices. This is something that you can really afford to be picky with, so take your time. Good luck in finding your next home!

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