Moving to a new house nearby is nerve-wracking enough, but a decision to move somewhere new can be one of life’s most stressful experiences. Here are some top tips for reducing the stress and risks when considering a move to a new area.
1: Make a checklist
Identify the things that are important to you. You may end up living there for a long time so ensure you do not overlook a key requirement in the stressful fog of choosing and buying a new home. Make a list of things that you need and things that you want to avoid. Think about factors such as general local atmosphere (quiet and rural, or urban and lively); the availability of shops within walking distance; local community groups and lifestyle facilities such as a pub, library, gym or park; the importance of travel distance from family, friends and work; public transport; internet connection speeds; schools for the children now and as they get older; whether your prospective property need to have a garden, parking facilities, seclusion, and so on.
2: Take your time
One quick visit will not be enough to get to know an area well. Spend some time there if you can, and try to make return visits at different times of the year and in different types of weather conditions. A holiday in the area will provide opportunities for some in-depth experience. Even staying for a short break in a local hotel, B&B, Airbnb or pub can provide some valuable insights. While you are there, get out and talk to local people in a coffee shop or shops. Moving to a place also means moving in amongst new people.
3: Have a good look around the whole area
A walk around a small village may be enough to get a flavour of the whole community, but if you are looking at a town or wider area then make sure you look around properly. Housing types and social groupings can be highly localised within a town, and only by looking carefully at all of the individual areas can you ensure you find the most appropriate one for you. Walking or cycling will reveal a lot more than driving around in a car.
4: Do some research
Spend some time online looking at social media and websites that provide local information and insights into the area, such as those set up by schools, businesses, the Parish Council, regional newspapers or local interest groups. If you’re moving to a new area you may be getting involved in these.
5: Know your budget
Choose an area or a part of a town where there are homes for sale that are within your budget. Decide approximately how much you have to spend on a property, allowing for all of the associated selling, moving and purchasing costs, and then look on the major property websites to see what sort of homes are available for that amount in the areas that you are interested in. Discount areas where that sort of budget can only secure you a smaller property than you really need. Think about on-going running costs and investigate typical Council Tax charges and household bills in the area. Use the property search websites to look for EPC certificates and information about Council Tax charges for some of the relevant properties for sale in the area.
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