Essential Tips For Choosing The Right Area To Live

Changing homes or relocating from one location to the other can be overwhelming and is usually likened to new experiences, such as the first day at a new job or school. Studies have shown that where you live directly impacts your social, mental and emotional health.

Be sure to conduct thorough research before deciding where to move. This includes a full assessment on the impact this move will have on your finances, social life, and family life, for example. That said, here are some essential tips for choosing the right area to live.

1. Commute time and public transportation options

Thanks to the pandemic, many people enjoy the benefits of working from home. Despite this, some workers still have to go to work during the week. Despite the practicality and popularity associated with working from home, there’s always a need to consider the travel time from home to the workplace and other locations like schools. Long commutes can be extremely stressful and potentially more costly for homeowners. If you’re not a fan of driving every day to work, but you can’t opt for working from home, your best bet will be to choose a location that is within proximity to your workplace, or a location with a robust public transport system, running whenever you need it. 

2. Town or city size

After highlighting your location options, the next step is to take note of the location sizes. Do you prefer to move to a city or a town? When choosing, you first need to know yourself and your preferences. Someone who loves small towns may enjoy seeing familiar faces every day. They may also love to buy from local businesses with local owners who they feel that they can trust. If you love being a more anonymous person, avoiding the glare of the small-town spotlight, then the big city life could be more ideal. If you can’t choose between these two major location categories, you should look more into suburban communities that give you the best of both worlds, with the help of local estate agents guiding you through the options available, added Beresfords estate agents in Essex.

3. Affordability

When it comes to money, a lot of things are relative. Wealth and affordability are highly relative and are determined by one’s standard of living and available income. For many people looking to relocate, affordability has to do with the ability to still have resources to spend and save after setting up your home. Affordability is one of the most critical factors considered by moving people. 

In expanding affordability, you can consider aspects of your life that makeup your total cost of living. These include utilities, housing costs, groceries, durable goods, transportation and health care. As a rule of thumb, housing experts advise that you opt for locations that cost you less to get by in good health. The best way to decipher whether or not your salary might suffice in a new place is to calculate a rough expenditure estimate using a cost of living calculator. 

4. Employment opportunities

In addition to the affordability of a location, another crucial and decisive factor determining the best location one can live in is the availability of employment opportunities. Studies have shown that lucrative employment is determined greatly by the geographical area. Not everyone works remotely like the digital nomads who only require a reliable laptop, workspace and fast internet connection to work. 

Before you choose a location, take some time to do some background work, especially research. Research the different employment opportunities and job markets in every state or every city. You can focus on the employment opportunities within your industry, as this will give you enough information on which locations feature the highest concentration of jobs you’ll qualify for. If your skills are portable, like an accountant or a teacher, it’ll be relatively easier to find work anywhere you move. If you’re an investment banker or have any finance-related job, for example, you might want to consider the big cities such as London or Manchester. Once you choose your relocation area, work hard at finding a job in this location before you finally relocate. 

5. Noise and noise pollution

Certain neighbourhoods are plagued with noise almost every hour of the day. This might be because of their proximity to industrial and construction work or the eternal layout of the homes. Sometimes, the neighbours cause these uncomfortable noises, disrupting your mood and the peace of mind your home should provide. Other times it’s noisy train stations or busy roads right outside your door. If this is the case, you may need to factor in the cost of traffic noise reduction solutions for your new home. When changing locations, ensure that any new space you opt for is either well insulated or located well away from any noise-generating area. 

6. Proximity to family and friends

For some of people, their work is always paramount to everything else. If this is you, to cater to your priority, select your new location by focusing on areas close to your workplace. For others, their focus is on their family and building relationships with friends. Driving across cities to meet family can be tiring, and taking flights for the same purpose can cause a significant strain on your budget. If you fall into this latter category, if you value time spent with close friends and family, you might want a place close enough to them. It’s good to consider family members that you share deep bonds with and consider areas that allow for easy and quick travel time from theirs to yours. This might take a lot of time, but if family is a value to uphold, it’ll be worth it. 

7. Availability of utilities

After discussing your location’s proximity to friends and family, it’s time to examine its proximity to utilities and amenities. How close is your potential location to a clinic, a school, or the bank? Is the location always supplied with water, gas, and electricity? These are simple amenities needed to survive, but they might not be readily available in certain areas. 

Before deciding on a specific place, you must do enough background research to know the utilities and amenities available within the geographical area. 

8. Eco-friendliness

In many modern homes, homeowners are looking for ways to reduce how much waste they consume. You can also do this with your geographical area to choose the right place to live. Look out for areas where eco-friendliness is encouraged. It might be through their home growing initiatives, reusable grocery bags or even the relevance they give to local farmers.

Be on the lookout for neighbourhoods where being eco-friendly is a must and not an option. To choose such places, you also need to share in the eco-friendly vision; otherwise, you might struggle to feel right at home. 

9. Your property value

Even if you don’t plan to buy a home right away, you still need to know the rental values in your chosen area to know how much to put aside for rent in your monthly budget. As a homeowner or buyer, you need to have a deep understanding of your new location with regards to different property values on different streets. To have adequate knowledge of this, you must research short-term home prices and current home price trends, the asking price of homes and whether they sell above or below this set price, and the long-term value trends. 

Another way to know more about property values of different locations is to use websites like Zoopla and Findaproperty to carefully review local housing price trends. These websites are great at equipping you with knowledge of the local property market. If you’re planning to invest in the local property market to gain passive income, you might want to look for advisory services that can educate you on which locations have high rental yields.

10. Taxes 

If there’s one thing you can’t escape entirely, it’s doing your taxes. Relocating, however, can cause an increase in your total tax burden or trim it significantly. Depending on where you relocate, your bottom line may be affected to a greater or lesser extent, with the charge of multiple levies such as property taxes, business taxes and fees. To estimate how much council tax you are likely to pay at different locations, get in touch with the local council and make enquiries.

11. Personal preference

You might have found a place close to your friends and family. They have great job prospects, and the community is remarkable. However, you don’t feel as though this is; it. This is a sign that you need to pause and reflect. It might be the nerves, it might be uncertainty, or it might be your gut telling you something is off. Please take a while to consider all your options, lining them up with your preferences to see what best suits your needs. 

Moving can be fun when you love where you’re moving to, as does everyone you know. Some factors discussed include proximity to family, availability of employment, and the property value of the area. Considering all these and more, you’re assured of an enjoyable living experience wherever you choose for yourself and your family. 

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Lee Clarke
Lee Clarke
Business And Features Writer

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