Factors you should think about when deciding where to live

Finding a new place to live can be stressful. In your search for that perfect place to live, don’t forget what’s around your neighbourhood.

When you set out to shop for a new home, make sure the neighbourhood isn’t just desirable to you but has objective qualities, such as attractive amenities, safe streets and good schools that will help ensure your investment appreciates in value over time. Most people like to visit places that are convenient.

Council Tax

Council tax is a system of local taxation collected by local authorities. It is a tax on domestic property. Some properties are exempt from council tax, whilst some people get a discount, and some don’t even have to pay it at all.

Council tax is an annual fee that your local council charges you for the local services it provides, for example, rubbish collection, police and fire service, leisure and parks.

All homes are given a council tax valuation band by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). The band is on the value of your home on 1 April 1991. Each local authority keeps a list of all the domestic property in its area, together with its valuation band. For more information on your band please visit gov.uk.

Affordability and cost of living

If you are looking to buy or rent a home, something that is really important is cost of living. The cost of living can vary in certain neighbourhoods from the cost to rent or buy a home, groceries, taxes, transportation, utilities etc. All of these expenses need to be factored into the decision you make in whether you can afford to live in the location. Living comfortably and within your means is essential for budgeting.

Crime

Crime is a very important factor when consider where to reside. Obviously, nobody can completely avoid the potential risk of falling victim to theft, vandalism or other forms of crime. However, in an effort to better protect yourself and your belongings, it is important to feel safe in your area and home. Low crime rates give a neighbourhood a sense of calmness.

Lifestyle

Transport in and around the neighbourhood is a key factor to consider. This can be from your day-to-day commute around, to running errands and get to work. You may also need to factor in visitors and getting away, like having easy access to an airport. Some neighbourhoods may have great public transport links that may not require a personal vehicle, whilst other neighbourhoods may require that to get you around with a level of convenience and efficiency.

Essential services and stores

Having access to medical care is key for many people, like families with young children, elderly near retirement age or those with health conditions. Alongside this, it can also be convenient having accessibility to banks, salons, restaurants and supermarkets.

Schools

Schools are another important factor, even if you haven’t got any children yourself; if you would like to sell your home in the future, potential buyers will be on the lookout for good schools. The quality of local schools and the distance from the house are both important factors to consider, alongside having low crime in the area is important for people to feel safe.

Development

Plans for new schools, hospitals, public transportation, and other infrastructure can drastically improve a neighbourhood. When searching for a home, try to find out whether any new public, commercial or residential developments are planned and consider how these additions might affect the desirability of the surrounding areas.

Related articles