Location, location, location sounds like an over-uttered mantra in the property market. But, it is the most important aspect when choosing a family home. You could be ensconced in luxury indoors, yet what you are greeted by when you open the door is vital to the well-being of a family. Noisy traffic, crime, eyesores, loud neighbourhoods, and lack of amenities will make life difficult. So, how do you choose the right neighbourhood? Tick these boxes, and you have yourself a decent place to live.
A good location is where essential elements are in harmony. The truth is you may consider a central location to be the perfect neighbourhood, but if it is costly to buy and live in, it will strain you financially. Now, that’s a recipe for a burdensome life. The place you choose should be affordable and comfortably within your budget.
Don’t be anxious to look further away, to the countryside. After all, it is where people move to for the idyllic life. There is no better alternative than raising a family in the peaceful countryside. Did you know that dementia rates are higher in people living near busy roads? And according to Defra, health outcomes are more favourable in the countryside. If you are dreaming of coastal life, research shows that residents with ocean views have lower levels of psychological distress.
Most buyers dismiss the country entirely without proper knowledge of well-connected transport links and good schools some areas have. Do your research well before making up your mind.
If you are looking for a 3 or 4-bedroom house with a garden, chances are you cannot afford it in the city. Rather than compromising for limited space that can feel overcrowded, look for the same specs in the country. You will thank yourself you did because kids outgrow shared bedrooms fast. Moving into a spacious home also means not having to move when the family grows.
Choose the right neighbourhood for a family. When you are raising a family, you would want other families as neighbours or a healthy mix of middle-aged, retired, and young families. Single-family homes, flats, and high rises with mostly single professionals may prove to be difficult places for families to socialise or children to form friendships.
If you are hoping to start a family or already have children, you may also want to select a catchment area for a good school. There should be parks and recreational spaces for picnics and outdoor activities.
Crime rates matter. They can devalue your property. So, make sure you read the crime statistics for the area. Drive around to spot any graffiti or vandalism, like broken windows. Deterrents such as “Beware of Dog” signs, high fences, or security grills for doors and windows usually mean neighbours have experienced unlawful activity or unruly behaviour.
The neighbourhood and community should be friendly and welcoming. You can go for a walk in the area, eat at a pub, buy something from a shop, or greet a dog walker to gauge the mood of the place. Usually, the countryside is a place with a sense of community. There’s very little traffic on country lanes and children can cycle safely.
It’s a good idea to spend time in the prospective neighbourhood to assess the vibe during the day and night. You may never know that the village hall holds late-night discos unless you read it on their notice board or see it yourself. Learn about future developments in the area. It is usually a sign of up-and-coming areas.
Distance to emergency and essential services
You should have easy access to a train station, grocery store, GP surgery, hospital, post office, and local school. Proximity to shopping in a nearby city centre is also important. One of the benefits of living in the country is the constant availability of fresh local produce. Independent shops and farmer’s markets ensure you are buying high-quality products for cheaper prices.
Consider the distance and convenience of amenities in relation to the potential property and house price. Sometimes, it is not essential to have a supermarket within walking distance. However, emergency and essential services should be minutes away.
A cinema, swimming pool, community centre, and parks are recreational amenities families would want nearby.
The area you choose to buy a home in must have public transportation at all times of the day. If you commute to work, test how long it takes by rail, car, or bus. Those who mainly drive may not need to worry too much about the bus timetables or train schedules. You might also want to check the time it takes to do the school run if you are doing it on your way to work.
If you are a frequent air traveller, you may not want to drive for hours to reach the airport. Thanks to Dundee Airport, you don’t have to worry about moving to the Scottish outskirts.
As much as an avid reader would like a library nearby, a keen golfer needs the greens closer to home. Amenities for lifestyle choices are significant to the quality of life. Fitness enthusiasts may want to look for a gym in the area. Those who pursue outdoor activities like walking, cycling, fishing, boating, sailing, or hiking will benefit from country living.
If you like going to the theatre, museums, and concerts, choose an area within easy reach of a city that offers culture. For example, Perth is a cultural city offering museums, art galleries, stunning gardens, and high-end entertainment venues which draw world-class performers. Living in the Perthshire countryside is a great way to combine tranquil living and cultural experiences.
For some, remote working has become a lifestyle change they can continue. They want more spacious homes outside the city, where money buys more space. A home office with a sea view, hills, and mountains are becoming more desirable.
Buying a home is an emotional process. However, the above factors can rationalize the process to ensure you are investing your hard-earned money in a safe, convenient, and comfortable property. A family home is unlike a house you share with friends or a flat you move into as a couple. It is not just about the amenities and beauty indoors but also outside. You want to live in a community that looks out for one another. GS Brown developments in Methven, Crieff, Stonehaven, and Blairgowrie bring you mixed and varied homes in the coveted Scottish countryside with easy commuting. Where is your dream home?