Considering moving to a completely new area? Here’s what to look for…
We all love where we live once we’ve got used to it, and many of us feel great affection for former addresses. But it’s unlikely that you’re going to find an area that will be exactly the right place for you to live your whole life.
Sooner or later, you are going to have to move to a different area. When the time comes, it’s important to choose somewhere that is going to work for you and meet your needs, whatever stage your life is at.
This is what I would consider when moving to a new area:
Many factors affect house prices, and it doesn’t necessarily follow that the most expensive place to live will be the best place for you. Why pay to be close to a tube station if you’re a keen cyclist? Why pay for a cool postcode when you’re at work all day and kite surfing all weekend? Compare prices in different areas – you can do this easily through property portal websites like Right Move and On the Market. Not all London flats are priced in the same way so choose your priorities and stick to them.
Travel and transport
It’s easy to be put off moving to a new area because you think it will take you longer to get to work. But the thing about transport in Greater London is that your daily commute time might well be the same from the outer boroughs as from zones one and two. Fast trains from places like Broxbourne in Hertfordshire will get you to Liverpool Street in under half an hour. Consider what time you have to leave your home in, say, Bethnal Green to get to the City for 9am – would you have to leave much earlier to commute from the Home Counties?
Shops and amenities
You know what you need! Food to eat, clothes to wear, books to read, things to do. I personally would look for a balance of chain shops and independent retailers, as well as a leisure centre for the gym, pool and fitness classes. Even if that all important climbing wall/library/Michelin-starred restaurant isn’t on your doorstep, it might be just a short tube ride away. Maybe moving to near the River Lea could be your chance to take up kayaking, for example – moving area could open up new interests.
Schools and children’s activities
Many people change areas because they want to start a family, or because babies are becoming children and need to go to school. Look at local schools – you can easily find a list of schools by area on the Ofsted website, which will also tell you (very broadly) if the school is any good. Parent View is a useful Ofsted tool as it will tell you what other parents think of the school – sometimes more honest than what Ofsted inspectors come out with!
Also think about activities and independence – where can they go to Brownies or karate? Could they walk to the shop on their own and buy a comic or would you just be weak with worry?
If you’re moving to a new area, let Dockleys help you get started with our property finder service. Working with partner estate agents, we can help you find the perfect property, even if it’s not on our patch. Get in touch today on 020 3633 4440 – we’d love to hear from you.