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  • Writer's picturekarloflynn

O'Flynn Estate Agents Leicestershire - How to choose a new area to live in.

Choosing a new area to move to, is obviously an important step, and as part of that you need a place to live. Here at O'Flynn Estate Agents we have worked around the Leicester and Leicestershire area for decades, so we have a good idea of what the different areas have to offer. The move could be dictated by a change in how many children you have, a change in family circumstance, work, income, crime rates and a whole plethata of other elements to be considered. So it is something that always needs a good amount of consideration and thought.

What type of area would suit you?

There are pro's and cons to all areas, and in the end you will have to take a view on what things are important and necessary for you and your family. City life is often spoken about as something for the young, maybe because of the amount of students we often associate with cities, and maybe because cities are full of bars, and other more lively activities. The downside is sometimes crime rates being higher, coupled with the noise that can occur in populous areas.

The Countryside is stunning in Leicestershire, and we are very lucky to have such green spaces, and great views on our doorstep. It is vastly underated in my opinion. The downsides used to be access to jobs, but now since the Covid pandemic, employers seem to be allowing more and more people to work from home so it is not so much of a problem for many people. You may struggle however, for a shop to buy a pint of milk, at short notice. Broadband is much better in the country than it used to be as well.

Suburbia usually offers a lower crime rate than a city, with many of the amenities, and often you can be on the doorstep of more rural areas so it can be a win win, but generally speaking at a slightly higher price than the city.

What can you afford?

This is the key for most people, you need to find somewhere that you can afford. Most of the areas that we find desirable to live in will come at a cost, regardless of whether it is in the city, rural or suburbia. The average house price in the UK (July 2022) was £292,000.

In regards to Leicestershire specifically (according to Rightmove):

Properties in Leicestershire had an overall average price of £278,664 over the last year.

The majority of sales in Leicestershire during the last year were semi-detached properties, selling for an average price of £247,315. Detached properties sold for an average of £403,848, with terraced properties fetching £208,136.

Overall, sold prices in Leicestershire over the last year were similar to the previous year and 13% up on the 2019 peak of £245,987.

Affordability could be a changing picture with interest rate rises during 2022 so this will be something to think about, when looking at your finances and working out what you can afford, each mortgage provider will look at this slightly differently.

Will the area suit your way of life?

In your current area you will obviously know what you like and don't like, but not so when you come to moving, so it will take some research to ensure that you are ticking the boxes that mean something to you. What do you like about your current way of life? and what needs replicating in your new location? if you have children then a great deal of research is usually done in regards to schools. The Times does a yearly 'Best Place to Live' and this year found Ilkley in West Yorkshire number 1. The schools are outstanding, lots of local independent shops, a buzzing town coupled with breath taking countryside views. However it all comes at a cost, and Iikely is not a cheap place to buy any type of property.

Crime Rates

Feeling safe where you live is a really big issue, and if you go to view a house and witness anti social behavior it will no doubt turn you off the area instantly. Having decent neighbours is also a great plus point in buying a house, but how you determine whether your neighbours will be what you want is tough. In my experience asking the seller is a good way to TRY and determine how they are. Red flags will arise when they change the subject or say they have no idea who they are, especially if they have lived there for 20 years.

According to the Leicester Mercury:

Last year there were 3,963 burglaries across Leicestershire, according to the police figures - which is actually a drop of 179 from 4,142 in 2020/21. But the neighbourhood which stood out from the rest was the city centre which had 192 burglaries in one year - making it the 35th worst neighbourhood in the country. Residents living in Market Harborough South and Little Bowden were also the least likely to be burgled last year, with a rate of around one break-in for every 1,000 residents.

Access to Green spaces

If you do work form home one of the most important things is getting out when you can, and taking a walk in greenery. It is great for your head, and gives you a much needed break. It is also handy if you have a dog of course, and for doing some exercise when you get the chance. It also saves on the cost of having to drive out somewhere for a walk. Having a green space nearby can also impact how much your house is worth, adding on thousands potentially.

Rent before you buy

It's not always possible of course, especially in villages where the choice of rental properties is limited, but it can be an option when you absolutely have to get a feel for the place that you wish to settle. Even in cities though, the choice of rental properties can be slim, so again its worth doing a whole load of research in order to find the best place to rent.

If you do wish to talk about your next move then we are always open for a chat, just reach out via our contact form or call at your convenience.

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