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When buying a new house, many people view the location as the most important consideration. But, how can you choose the right location for you and your family? Here are a few things you should take into account;

•  Travel time to your workplace(s)
In recent times, more and more people are relocating to be nearer their place of work. An increase in traffic means that journeys are taking longer, and many people are reliant on public transport to get to and from their workplace. If you are not familiar with an area, buy a local map, and highlight any areas with good transport links and routes into your work. If you are still unsure, it may be a good idea to do a ‘test run’ before viewing houses in the area.

•  Schools
If you have a young family, or are planning to start one, this should be vital consideration. In fact, increasing numbers of house purchases are being influenced by the proximity and rating of local schools. Check the schools in the area, and if possible, take a look at school league tables to find out how they are performing. You can also visit your local government website for more information about local education. Always remember to check waiting lists if you are moving to a new area.

•  Public transport
If you don’t drive, or find it easier to use public transport, check the local links in an area i.e. tube, rail or bus stations. Also check the frequency of trains and buses, in some remote areas, limited services may be provided. Remember that even if you do drive, you may at some point need to use public transport to get into work (i.e. bad weather or car problems). If you have children who will need to get into school using the bus, check the timetables for the journey.

•  Transport Links
Ideally, you are looking for a property situated close to a motorway or main road, but not too close – you need to think about noise and pollution. Also try to avoid main motorway junctions, you may have problems getting about during busy periods of the day.

•  Privacy
Is this important to you? and if so, how close do want your neighbours to be situated? Many enjoy the interaction of having neighbours nearby, whereas many like the idea of complete privacy. When thinking about this, take into consideration your own personal habits i.e. if your son has a new drum kit, neighbours may not be very appreciative of the noise!

•  Rural or town?
This really is a matter of personal preference – do you want to live in a rural location, or nearer to a town or city? Remember, you can get a combination of both if you choose the right area, for example; you may choose a property situated close to town, with a larger garden.

•  Local amenities
Think about the services you use every day, i.e. – post offices, banks, supermarkets, and check an area for these amenities before you view a house. You may also want to consider leisure options, such as local gyms, swimming pools and sports stadiums.

•  The view
Is a nice view of importance to you? Of course, this can be interpreted in many ways – some people like an abundance of trees and wildlife, while others may like the view across their town/city. This factor is especially important if you are buying a new build – check the location of the house before you buy, you don’t want to end up staring straight into your neighbours windows (and them into yours!).

•  Reputation of the area
Find out about an area before you consider moving there. Although you may have a perceived desirability of an area (i.e. through reading the press or talking to friends), you may need to visit it yourself to find out for sure. And remember, people have very individual ideas of what constitutes a ‘good area’.

Always consider the above factors before you start viewing houses, you can save yourself a lot of time and hassle by narrowing down your location.

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