When you are looking to buy or rent in an area that you are not familiar with, one of the first things you need to do is find out about the local area and what it has to offer.
If you have children, it is important to find out where the nearest schools are and if you are going to be commuting to work, you might want to find out where the nearest public transport is or what the traffic in the area is like.
Here are some great resources for finding out local area information when you are house hunting:
This site pulls in some in-depth data based on your postcode. It will tell you:
· What type of area the postcode is in
· What the housing is like
· What the demographic of residents is
· The employment levels
· The education and qualifications of the residents
· What the prices in the area are like for rent and utilities
If you are looking to move to a new area, you don’t want to choose somewhere that has a high crime rate. Police UK is a fantastic website for finding out lots of different crime related information in your area, just by putting a postcode in.
The site tells you how many crimes were reported in the neighbourhood and who your local police team are. By exploring the map further you can see what types of crimes took place and where.
If you have children, then finding an area with good schools will be quite a priority when it comes to choosing an area to move to. Locrating.com combines a range of information on schools and presents it in an easy and accessible way.
Search using a postcode or place name or just browse the map for the type of school you are after. The site covers everything from nurseries up to secondary schools, grammar schools and colleges. The schools shown on the map can then be filtered using a range of different options, including age range, Ofsted rating, gender and more.
If you need to be commuting every day, regularly travelling around or getting to the shops, then you need to check what the local transportation is like in an area. If you don’t have a car then you need to check where the nearest train station is and where the closest bus stop can be found, as without them you may end up stuck.
In regards to transport, you also want to check that you aren’t going to be too near to any motorways or flight paths where you want to live, as noise can travel very easily in the wind. It’s a double-edged sword, as places with good transport are very popular with residents, but they can also come hand and hand with noise pollution.
If you are thinking of moving house, then make sure you do your research on the areas you are considering. The above resources can all be very useful when it comes to a make or break decision on where you want to live next.
There are a few more websites that can give you more in-depth information, such as FixMyStreet, a way of finding out any local problems, and CheckMyArea, a profile of the existing residents and their behaviour.
If you have any questions about an area you can always ask your estate agent or even anyone who currently lives in the area. You want to make sure you end up moving to an area where you will be happy living for years to come.
Hunters have over 100 offices nationwide including Marylebone