Posted on 12th January 2015

How to Weigh up Options in the Property Market

By Martin Williamson, Head of Residential Property, Latimer Hinks Solicitors

Its probably fair to say that getting involved with the property market can be one of lifes most stressful events. There are many ways to avoid some of the worry and turn buying a house into a far more pleasurable experience. I have outlined below the areas a property buyer can work on to make purchasing a property a much more positive and straightforward experience.

There are several important points to bear in mind when taking the plunge into the property market:

  • Privacy: Is this important to you? Do you mind being overlooked? Many people enjoy the interaction of having neighbours nearby, whereas many others like the idea of a more private location.
  • Rural or urban: This really is a matter of personal preference do you want to live in a rural location, or be closer to a town or city? Its sometimes possible to combine the best of both worlds as there are many properties on the market that will be located closer to local amenities but will have the benefit of a larger garden or a park nearby.
  • Local amenities: Think about the services you use every day, i.e. post offices, banks, supermarkets, and check an area for these amenities before you view a house. You may also want to consider leisure options, such as if sports centres, health clubs or swimming pools are situated nearby.
  • Travel time to your workplace(s):Over recent years, increasing numbers of people are relocating to be nearer their place of work. An increase in traffic means that journeys are taking longer, and many people are reliant on public transport to get to and from their place of work. Try to highlight any areas with good transport links and routes into work. It may be a good idea to do a test run before viewing houses in the area.
  • Schools: If you have a young family, or are planning to start one, this should be a vital consideration. In fact, increasing numbers of house purchases are being influenced by the proximity and Ofsted rating of local schools. Check the schools in the area, and if possible, take a look at school league tables to find out how they are performing.
  • Transport links: Transport links are important when it comes to making a decision to purchase a property. The proximity to a good local road and rail network can be vital when it comes to the daily work commute or to access local amenities including retail outlets. Good access should be weighed against noise and pollution, so its probably not a good idea to buy a property thats situated too close to a main road .
  • The view: Is a nice view of importance to you? This is especially important if you are buying a new build check the location of the house before you buy, you dont want to end up staring straight into your neighbours windows.
  • Reputation of the area: Find out about an area before you consider moving there. An area may have a good reputation, but is that a current reputation? Or has the area declined over recent years? Try to get a feel for the area before deciding to buy. Perhaps visit the area at different times of the day and speak to people in the area.

Please note: This article is intended as guidance only and does not constitute advice, financial or otherwise. No responsibility for loss occasioned/costs arising as a result of any act/failure to act on the basis of this article can be accepted by Latimer Hinks.

Martin Williamson is Head of Residential Property at Latimer Hinks Solicitors in Darlington. Latimer Hinks has a team of around 40 people serving private and corporate clients. For further information: or call 01325 341500.