The key to a successful move? Location, location, location – and investigation

Getting the home of your dreams may seem a tall order – but when it comes to location, getting better acquainted with your new area is a must.

Monday, 13th January 2014, 1:58 pm

How long will the drive into work take, is it far to walk to the nearest shops, is there an open space for dog walkers, and where is the local hospital?

These are some of the many questions buyers may often overlook when caught up in the home buying process.

But there are many important elements that all fit into the complex puzzle of moving house, say estate agents Harrison Murray.

The demands of modern day life lead some people to look at their home/worklife-balance, opting either to move to a larger home, be closer to work or family, or choose a quieter location.

Whatever the reasons for moving to a new area, don’t let the excitement of a new home detract from the importance of exploring your new surroundings.

Harrison Murray has some tips on what to bear in mind when weighing up whether to buy a home in a particular area:

Make your first stop the internet. A wealth of information about the local housing market and the local area is available at your fingertips.

Look at the property in local newspapers in areas where you are interested in living. This will give you a good idea of prices in the area, as well as information on local clubs or groups.

Once you have highlighted an area, visit it a few times and spend some time driving around the surrounding towns and villages to get a feel for the bigger picture.

Try driving your route to work or school to get an idea of the journey and how long it will take.

Depending on their age, children may not be completely receptive to moving away from friends, so take them on a tour – pointing out schools, local parks and opportunities for social activities.

Find out about services on your doorstep – from doctors and dentists to the post office, library – and why not grab a few menus from the local takeaways while you are at it.

If you have pets, it may be worth finding a reputable boarding kennel/cattery in your new area to take care of them for a day or two during the move to alleviate any stress.

When choosing an agent, ensure that they are members of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and arm yourself with any further questions about the local market or area you are not able to find the answer to. A good estate agency will know the area like the back of their hand.

Head of estate agency for Harrison Murray Su Snaith said: “For many people, moving home can be an exciting yet at the same time rather daunting experience – particularly if it is to a brand new area.

“However, if you do your homework properly you can ensure your new home suits the whole family. We are often told location, location, location is key – but becoming acquainted with a particular area is equally important.”