Buying your first home is a big step, and an exciting one. It can be challenging and confusing when you're new to the property-buying world, but the results are worth all the stress. It's a fact often stated in real estate that location is key, but assessing the suitability of a property's location is sometimes easier said than done. However, it's important to do a thorough job of assessing the area around the properties for sale that you are considering, as any mistakes or unconsidered factors can lead to a costly outcome both financially and emotionally. To help you make your decision, follow these tips to assess whether a neighbourhood is right for you.
Find some statistics
Before you do anything else, you might be able to save yourself some time by conducting a little bit of online research. It's often possible to find statistics and other information on crime, local amenities, transport, and other factors that will influence life in a particular area. If you have a list of potential areas, this can really help cut down your list by quickly dismissing unsuitable neighbourhoods.
Spend a bit of time there
There's nothing quite like living as the locals do to let you know what an area is really like. If possible, book a room near to the property you're looking at, but at the very least try to spend an entire day there. Do the things you normally do in your free time — go for a coffee, visit museums, take a walk in the park, dine out. See how easy it is to get to the places you enjoy, and make note of how much you like them. Also, consider things like evening noise levels and your overall impression of the streets and buildings as you walk around.
Talk to residents
If you can, try to have a quick chat with people who already live in the neighbourhood. When you're out an about exploring, you should be able to find locals quite easily. Look for people having a coffee on their own, as they're likely to live nearby. Ask them about their experiences, any negatives, and whether they regret their decision to live there — you should get some honest answers.
Give transportation a trial
Unless you're lucky enough to find somewhere within easy walking distance of your workplace — which should be a major factor in your consideration — you'll need to get yourself to and from work. If you'd be using your car, practice making the drive during rush hour to see what the traffic is like. The quality, reliability and comfort of public transport can vary quite drastically from one place to the next, so make sure you do a practice run if you'll be relying on it. Again, do this at the time you'd normally be travelling to work so you get a solid idea of what to expect.
It is getting very expensive to buy a property and most people can't afford to do it on their own anymore. That's why a growing number of people are choosing to buy property with their siblings. It's a great way to share some of the burden of a mortgage as well as giving you some built in house mates that you know that you can live with! This blog has some tips on how to find a house that you can share with siblings and has some tips from home owners and real estate agents who have experience in finding homes for siblings.