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Househunters say safety main concern

Fancy the quiet life? Need a good school? If you’re looking to move home this year, there is information available to help you find your perfect location.

Above everything else, we want to live where we can be safe and sound, or, rather, sound-free.

This is according to a survey of 2,100 people by lender Ocean Finance.

Six out of 10 respondents rated safety highly when it comes to where they live.

Half also made finding somewhere quiet a priority, while just 1 per cent said they wanted to live in a “lively” area.

Parking a priority when choosing where to live

One in three rated availability of parking highly.

A quarter wanted to be close to family and the same amount needed to be near public transport links.

A quarter, again, wanted to be near schools or within a catchment area.

High crime rate discourages househunters

When asked what would be the most off-putting feature when choosing a property, being sited in an area known for crime came top.

Seven out of 10 saying this would discourage them.

Being located near a sewage works would deter four in 10 and a quarter wouldn't want to be under a flight path or near an airport.

What's crime like near you?

If you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you can type your postcode into the search on police.uk to get details of crimes in the area.

You can also compare the local performance to similar regions and to other parts of the same police force area.

Scotland has a less easy-to-use service in Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics.

However, the same service will also tell you how long it'll take to get to the nearest Post Office, supermarket and GP.

Schools

The site findaschool.info will help you find local schools in England and their Ofsted ratings.

If there is not enough information about the catchment area, which is usually the case for secondary schools, you might then need to contact the schools or local authority directly, according to Findaschool.

Noise pollution

Sellers are obliged to declare to buyers any recent complaints to the council about noise.

With regards to street noise, it pays to view a property at peak travel times to listen to road noise.

Flood maps

For England, you can look at flood maps and other local environmental issues through the Environment Agency website.

For Wales, see Natural Resources Wales, Scotland, see SEPA and Northern Ireland, see the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Find a GP

For a GP in England and Wales, you can search NHS Choices. In Scotland, you can use NHS24 and in Northern Ireland the HSC Service Finder.

Fracking - a new concern for residents?

Some people are now worried about pollution and earthquakes from fracking – a new method of tapping into underground gas – and perhaps the value of your property falling in value.

If you are worried you can see if you're going to move near a potential fracking site using the Frack Off website.

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Neil Faulkner

Neil Faulkner

Neil Faulkner waded his way through a mountain of claims as a paralegal before moving on to be an insurance consultant and claims manager. He is a long-term investor, and one-time property owner and landlord. He writes about property, investing, insurance, consumer issues, and helping people get out of debt misery.

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