Choosing where to settle down and call home is one of the biggest decisions to make.
You might already know which area you want to live in and it’s simply a matter of finding the right house. However, if you want to relocate to a new area then you have a few more decisions to make.
It ultimately comes down to where your priorities lie. Think about what is important to you and this should help you to come up with a list of necessities which will help you move forwards and start viewing properties in those areas that could be right for you.
Proximity to friends and family
For some people, the most important thing is to be close to friends and family. This can be really handy if you have a young family as they can help out with child care and be there for emergency situations.
Work opportunities and commute
You might want to look at what job opportunities there are in the area in your line of work. This might be particularly important if you’re young and are therefore more likely to change jobs.
Also, bear in mind how long the commute would be. Will it mean spending over an hour and a half in your car stuck in traffic every day or do you have the option to cycle or walk to work if you want to?
There tends to be a correlation between where schools with a good reputation are and property prices which will be higher because there is more demand to live in the area. So it’s worth considering how high up this is on your list of priorities.
How close do you want to be to the motorway, train station or bus routes? This may be a priority if you’re downsizing and looking to retire soon when living near a bus stop with a regular service will help get you easily from A to B.
Where can you afford?
The cost of living differs from one region to another. Therefore, depending on the area you’re looking to move to, you will be able to get more or less for your money. For instance, what might buy you a four-bedroom detached house in the north may only get you a one-bedroom flat in the south of England.
If you drive, you might not mind being far away from local shops, restaurants, leisure centres etc. However, you might want to be closer to them if you rely on public transport or are less mobile yourself.
Lively or laid back?
Do you like the hustle and bustle of city living or do you enjoy sitting back and enjoying the quiet life? Making your mind up between the two can help discount a lot of areas if you split locations up into general sectors such as the city centre, suburbs, small towns, villages, the countryside etc.
Going through this list is a great place to start as you can prioritise your preferences which can help narrow down your search.
A word of advice: think about your next move carefully. How long do you plan on living there and what changes might happen during this time? For instance, you might not have children now but if that is the plan, then when you move you might want to consider the proximity of family and local schools for the future. On the other hand, if you’re looking to retire soon and want to downsize, then you might want to live in a quieter area that is reasonably flat and ideally on a bus route.
Hopefully, this advice will make the thought of moving less daunting because you can now approach it from a more practical viewpoint, concentrating on what is currently important to you and considering whether these priorities may change in the near future.
Speaking with a mortgage adviser can help you establish how much money you're able to borrow which then might help you decide where to move to and what sort of property you can afford in this area.