Top 8 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Property to Rent or Purchase
Renting or purchasing a property can be difficult, even at the best of times. With so many elements making up a move, transferees can quickly become overwhelmed and struggle to make a confident decision when choosing a property. Here, we have put together our list of top 8 factors to consider when choosing a property to rent or purchase:
1. Location, location, location!
As with the Nation’s favourite house hunting TV show, choosing the right location to rent or purchase is everything. A property in an area that is well connected in terms of public transport will cost more than a similar house in a quiet suburb. The type of neighbourhood is also important – university towns for example will have a huge student population and lively nightlife. Not ideal if you are looking for a quiet and peaceful location to live in or have a family.
If you have children, finding the right school for them is critical. Make sure you do sufficient research on all the schools in your target housing area to ensure they have a “good” or “outstanding” OFSTED report. Likewise, if you don’t have children and choose a property near to a school, expect a larger volume of traffic in the morning and afternoon during the “school run” as well as any evening or weekend events. It is also worth noting that property prices in close proximity to a school will be much higher than those outside a catchment area.
Check any potential neighbourhood for parks, supermarkets, shopping centres, gyms and leisure centres etc. Having to drive 15-20 minutes to your local shop or supermarket can become a frustrating and cumbersome chore.
4. Building Permits and Future Development
The local council’s planning department will have information on all new developments that are up and coming. New shopping centres, housing developments and business parks are a good sign of growth in your neighbourhood, however be cautious of new developments that can take months, if not years to complete. This will result in unsightly construction sites, lower air quality and increased noise levels.
No one wants to live next door to a hot spot for criminal activity. Going to the local police station or library in your target housing area will ensure you get unbiased and accurate crime statistics, rather than asking the homeowner or estate agent who is hoping to secure a deal. Consider asking about the frequency of police presence or a neighbourhood watch in any area you consider living.
Choosing an apartment in the city centre can mean a great location and views, but is there enough space for you to live? When choosing a property, spend time considering if there is enough room for your furniture and belongings. If you have a road bike for example, is there somewhere safe and secure for you to store it?
If you will be commuting to work or taking your children to and from school by car every day, a car parking space is a must. Where you live and what sort of property you choose will have an effect on the type of parking available. A family home in the suburbs will often have its own private driveway, whereas a home in the city centre may only have off-street residents parking, which won’t guarantee you a parking spot every day. Residents’ parking also comes at a cost and a permit will need to be purchased from the local council.
8. Property Management
If you are renting a property, a company or individual will be the “property manager” and they will be your first point of contact if there are any maintenance issues during your Tenancy. The property manager could either be the Landlord, the Estate Agent, a property management company, or another individual e.g. the Landlord’s parents. If possible, request the property manager to be the estate agents or a management company, as any maintenance issues will likely be fixed much quicker than by a landlord, who may live abroad, or a parent or child of the landlord who is busy or unavailable.