What's most important to you when moving home? Good schools? Low crime rates? Nice neighbours?
There's a lot to think about when moving to a new area, from local schools to crime rates and public transport links.
Prioritising what’s important to you can help you make the right decision. With that in mind, here are some common things to look out for before you decide to up-sticks.
Crime rates in the area
Crime rates are one of the biggest concerns for movers. Homes in areas with high crime rates tend to have a lower price tag, but can you put a price on feeling safe at home?
If you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you can do a postcode search on police.uk to get details of recent crimes in an area.
Scotland has a similar service called Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics, which can also tell you how long it'll take to get to the nearest Post Office, supermarket and GP.
If you’re going to make a journey twice a day, five times a week for the foreseeable future, you’ll want to make sure it’s not the journey from hell.
Check out traffic, alternative routes, costs, and maybe even do the journey a few times yourself before making any decisions.
Finding a home in the catchment area of a decent school is a number one priority for many parents.
Try our My Neighbourhood tool to search for schools by postcode, and go on to contact them about availability.
Houses in good catchment areas are usually in high demand, so don’t be surprised if there’s a bigger price tag on these.
Parking and public transport
Finding parking spaces can be a real issue in some areas, and a deal-breaker for lots of prospective buyers and renters.
When you’re viewing new places, try visiting during working hours and later on a weekday evening, to scope out the situation on the street.
If you live near offices, shops or stadiums with scant parking, you might find commuters taking up all the spaces.
On the other hand, areas like these often have great links to local public transport, and you might save some energy and money by ditching the car altogether.
Google Maps and Traveline are two options for planning journeys, which let you compare bus, train, car and walking routes.
A surveyor's report should tell you the flood risk of any house you buy, but it’s worth doing some thorough research into this.
The last thing you need is to move into a home that has a high flood risk. On top of that, you’ll find yourself paying more for your home insurance.
Take a look at the Environment Agency's flood risk map, and make sure you have adequate home insurance to cover you.
Finding a GP
If you’re moving more than a few miles, you might need to look for a new GP or dentist.
For doctors in England and Wales, you can search NHS Choices. In Scotland, you can use NHS24 and in Northern Ireland the HSC Service Finder.
Think about what you'll lose, as well as what you'll gain
One thing people tend to overlook is what they’ll be leaving behind when they move. Before making any decisions, think about what you're going to miss about your old home?
An easy walk to work, a nice view or being close friends and family could be the thing you miss most after moving.
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