It’s the age-old question; should I buy a better property in a poorer area, or a poorer house in a better area? Of course, it’s not as simple as that, a combination of factors must be considered when you are purchasing a house, and ideally, you need to find a balance – a house to suit your needs, in the best location possible for your budget.
Many people will purchase a property because they simply like the house itself. They will be very happy to get a larger house with a bigger garden, even though it isn’t situated in the exact village, town or city that they would prefer to live in. This kind of buyer is generally driven by size – the bigger the property, the better. They find the concept of a large house with more rooms and space very appealing, and are able to negotiate on the location to get these features. This kind of buyer is very unlikely to settle in a house that is ‘too small’, and will often suffer the consequences of living in a less than ideal location.
Then there is another type of buyer – the individual who will choose a house based on its character and uniqueness. They will consider properties that are unusual, for example converted mills or shops, or even windmills, in order to achieve their sense of individuality. Such houses can be more expensive, and they are often situated in rural areas. It could be said that this kind of person is generally cash rich, and enjoys living in an unusual property to match their flamboyant personality!
Finally, there is the location buyer. It could be that they’ve lived in the same area all of their lives, as have generations of their family before them. Or, maybe they have a preferred location in mind, and are unwilling to consider another area. Either way, this kind of buyer will often sacrifice on options such as space and gardens to live in their ideal location.
Certainly, when you are looking to purchase a property, you should examine the house itself in detail. However, you do also need to assess the location fully. After all, what is the point of buying a larger property, if you are unable to commute to work each day because of the distance? You may have all of the space you need, but if you’re spending half of your day commuting, you won’t have the time to actually enjoy the space you have!
Also consider other aspects, such as local amenities. You may not think that this is important when you are viewing houses, but over several months or years, a lack of local shops can be a real problem, especially if you don’t drive. Unless you are buying on your own, you should also consider the requirements of other family members. For example – if you have teenagers, they will need somewhere to go for entertainment. A big house can be great, but they’ll soon grow tired of it, and you will suffer the consequences! Also consider factors such as the crime rate in an area. After all, you may get a ‘decent’ house, but is it in a desirable area? If not, you may have the constant worry of being burgled or experiencing anti-social behaviour. If given the choice, most people would prefer a smaller house, in an area that is deemed as ‘safe’.
Ultimately, the choice is up to you, but if possible, try to balance out all of the factors, and view as many houses as possible. This will increase your chances of finding a great house, in a good location.