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Tips for choosing your neighbourhood

When choosing an area in which to live, it is important to evaluate your needs (including those of any partner or children who may be moving with you). For example, if you are a young professional with no children, you might want a lively entertainment scene in the area, whereas if you are a parent of three children, a good school and a playground may be of greater importantance. The list below should help in outlining some of the issues that must be considered when deciding on your future neighbourhood.

Price – Find out whether you would actually be able to afford a house in the area by looking at the prices of local properties sold recently. Remember that asking prices are not a good indicator, since they can differ substantially from the amount the property eventually changes hands for. The Land Registry hold the most comprehensive property price database which is made accessible via the internet by www.mouseprice.com

Gut feeling – Don’t underestimate the importance of a gut feeling. It is important that you feel comfortable and at home in your future neighbourhood.

Workplace – Consider how you would get to work, and how long it would take you.

Local Amenities – Each individual will have different needs, depending on their lifestyle and preferences. Research the public transport links, and explore the area for shops, leisure facilities like pubs and clubs, children’s activities, parks etc.

Council Tax- Find out what council tax band you would be in and make sure that you would be able to afford it.

Schooling – If you have children, find out which schools fall within your catchment area, and research their reputation, and positions in the league tables.

Social Issueswww.mouseprice.com can help you to identify many social trends in your prospective neighbourhood.

Condition of the neighbourhood – Keep in mind that the state of the houses in your street influences the value of your own.

Local Authority Services – Find out how often the waste is being collected etc.