How to check the local area before buying a home

If you’re selling your home and moving to a new area, it can be tricky to get a true picture of the neighbourhood before spending a lot of time there. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get to know the place. In fact, there are loads of ways to do so without even leaving your current home.

Doing your research on the local area before making an offer is a must. A home may look ideal, but the local community and surrounds should also make you feel at home. In this post, we’ll show you how to do your research before the big move. 

Checking the local area online before moving home 

Check planning applications in the area

It’s easy to see what your new area is looking like now, but what about in the future? If your next property is going to be your ‘forever home’, then it’s worth knowing if there are going to be any major changes over the coming months and years. Especially in a day and age where more and more green space is getting swallowed up by developers.

Whether it’s new flats, a new supermarket, the addition of a major road or bypass, or a long-term project like a high-speed rail link, knowing what’s on the horizon for your new area will be fundamental to your decision-making.

Spend some time on Google Maps

We use map apps like Google Maps for route planning and local information, and this can be a great starting point for researching a new area, too. It’ll help you discover all the local amenities, including transport links, schools, shops, supermarkets, bars, restaurants, and nearby businesses. What’s more, you’ll be able to access reviews and ratings for even more insights.

Review the crime statistics

For many, it’s one of the most important aspects of moving to a new area. Feeling safe in your local community is essential, and you can get a good understanding of how safe an area is via the crime statistics. These are usually readily available online, although you can also request them through the local constabulary via Freedom of Information requests.

Read up on the news & social media channels

Exploring local newspapers, websites and social media channels can also give you good insights into crime in the area, as much of it will be reported here. It’s also a great source of info for the positive things about a community. You’ll find tons of information about local clubs, initiatives and events, as well as the social scene. 

Checking the local area in the flesh before moving home 

Get walking & talking

Unsurprisingly, one of the best ways to get to know a new location is to spend as much time there as possible. And we’re not just talking a drive or two through, but taking a long walk around the area. That way, you’ll be able to chat to locals, get a real sense of local amenities and sample what local businesses have to offer.

Mix up your visits

Lastly, we’d recommend visiting your new neighbourhood at different times of the day and on different days during the week. It’ll help you get a feel for things like the high street at closing time on a Saturday night, and the Monday morning rush hour. 

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