Location, location, location. It’s arguably the most important factor to get right when buying property, and especially so when it comes to buying a family home, where you plan to settle down for the long-term.
But how do you choose an area to live and raise a family in? There’s a lot to bear in mind when deciding on the perfect location, so we’ve brought you six important factors to consider before you put in an offer.
Whatever type of home you’re buying, it’s important to know your budget before you start narrowing down areas you like. But it’s especially crucial if you have a family with lots of outgoings, because you may not have room to stretch yourself financially.
Once you have your budget, research house prices in a number of areas to discover where you can afford to live, before narrowing down the list using the remaining factors.
If you’re looking for a family home, proximity to good schools will have a huge bearing on choosing an area. Whether you want your children to go to state or private schools, research availability and catchment areas.
Think too about whether it’s important to be within walking distance, or if driving or public transport is realistic. Remember, family homes within the catchment areas of top-rated schools usually come with a higher price tag.
3. Proximity to family and friends
As well as considering your work commute, factor in the wider family and how long you’re prepared to travel to see them. If you rely on other family members for childcare, you’ll want to make sure you choose an area to live that’s close enough to reach them easily.
Don’t forget about friends too; consider where your existing network is based, and how much effort you’re prepared to put into meeting people in a new area.
Check the crime rates and social demographics of locations under consideration to help determine the safest places in which to raise your family. Don’t rely on the stats alone though – visit each area to see how safe and welcoming it feels.
Talk to friends and family who might know it, and make use of forums and Facebook groups to ask local families what it’s like to live there.
5. Green space
Most families want a home within easy reach of green space, whether that’s in a rural or semi-rural location, or within an urban setting with parks and nature nearby. Think about your family’s habits: do you love heading out on long weekend walks together, or is it more important to have somewhere to kick a football around?
Consider environmental factors such as air pollution levels, too, and the impact they might have upon your family,
6. Proximity to family-friendly amenities
Think carefully about the sort of facilities you might want and need nearby, both now and in years to come.
For example, would you like to be close to baby groups and soft play centres, or do you need sports clubs and other activities within easy reach? Don’t forget to consider your own hobbies and interests as well.
Check out family homes for sale in Wiltshire with Carter & May.