Moving to a new area can be extremely daunting, whether it’s to further your career or to cater for your growing family – we’ve put together this simple 5 step guide to help you along the way.
1. Do your research
It’s imperative that you do some research on an area before committing to move there. There’s nothing worse than going through the full process only to realise the nearest school is a 20 minute drive away or that the crime rate is well above the national average.
One tool that may prove useful collates data from the likes of Police.uk, Gov.uk, Department for Education and the Office for National Statistics to name but a few. Illustreets.co.uk is a free to use interactive map that colours an area depending on their standard of living and crime rate in comparison to the national average. Whilst a tool such as this shouldn’t directly influence your decision as it is good to visit an area to see for yourself, it is helpful in providing you with an idea of if an area may suit you or not.
2. Find your agent
Finding a trustworthy lettings agent is probably the key part to moving to a new area. The main requirement when looking for an agent is whether they are able to offer you a personal and high quality level of service. The best place to start is through recommendation – talk to friends or have a look online to see what people are saying about different agents. Once you have decided on the one you wish to use, sit down with a member of their team and discuss exactly what you’re looking for to help them find the best properties to suit you.
3. View and view again
Property listings are there to whet your appetite and provide you with basic information. The best way to gauge if a property is suitable for you or not is to actually view it. Having a walk around a property is crucial as it helps you to better see room layouts, measurements and to see if the surrounding area fits what you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to arrange a second viewing, if you’re serious about a property there is absolutely no harm in taking a more in-depth look around.
4. What’s around
Whilst you’re viewing the property and you’re in the area, why not take a walk or drive around to see what amenities residents have access to. The things you should be looking out for are schools and supermarkets, why not take a walk down the high street to see the quality of what is available on the doorstep to save you having to travel to a larger town every time you go shopping. If transport links are important to you, have a look at bus and train timetables to see the regularity of the service as well as links to main roads to ensure that you will be able to commute and get around easily as and when required.
5. Keep in touch!
It’s always good to have a mutually amicable relationship with your letting agent. They are the person you turn to if something goes wrong so it’s good to have a name and face of the person you’ve been dealing with. Likewise, from time-to-time they may wish to come out to do an inspection of the property to ensure it is being looked after, therefore keeping them informed of any changes to your contact details so they can easily get in touch with you to arrange inspections and maintenance visits is really important.