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Location, location, location

What most of us want is a nice property in an area to which we can easily and quickly travel to and from work. Better still if it's near shops or other leisure facilities, has a low crime rate and close to the best school in the area.

 

What makes properties worth more?

Typically, properties that are in these kinds of locations are more expensive per square metre than those in a suburb needing regeneration, and the prices of these properties can be dramatically affected. For example, research suggests that properties in the catchment area of a local school can be 19 to 34% higher than similar properties outside of the catchment area.

What makes properties worth less?

But apart from these more obvious influences on a property’s value, there are other factors that can also reduce, or enhance a property’s value. For example, if a property is on a busy main road, the noise factor and the fear of children having an accident will reduce the price.

Other factors that reduce a property’s value include:
* Being located near a pylon or a substation.
* Located near/next to a railway line.
* Backing onto an industrial estate.
* Neighbouring noisy pubs, shops or commercial properties.
* Being next door to a rundown property - or noisy neighbours (see below).
* Proximity to a sewerage treatment plant or other ‘undesirable smell’!

Interestingly, although good schools can increase a property’s price, sometimes being too near a school or nursery, which can be noisy and make it difficult to get in and out of your drive during pick up and drop off time can cause property prices to be lower in comparison to others.

And finally, don’t forget sometimes a popular location can start losing value when the reason for its popularity causes problems for the home owner. For example, a receding coast line that is getting closer to the property or a river that once was an idyllic outlook and now is responsible for flooding on a regular basis.

How should location affect what you buy?

Understanding how location impacts on property prices can be really helpful, in particular when you are buying. For example, if you need a big property, but are struggling to afford where you want to live, you can look for cheaper properties that you might be happy to live in, while compromising on what you neighbour onto.

You can buy just outside your desired area If you haven’t got children, or want to be near a ‘trendy’ area that is not within your price range, why pay the extra premium for living there?

If you do decide to live in the most expensive locations, then you’ll need to accept that you might have to compromise on space and accommodation in return.

Noisy neighbours

Even the most beautiful home, in the most serene town can become a nightmare if you live next door to the wrong kind of people. And dealing with nasty neighbors can be enough to drive even the most peaceable person to distraction. Viewing a potential home buy during daylight is the standard practice, but what happens in the evenings. If you are seriously considering purchasing a property make arrangements to visit in the evenings. Personal experience has shown that neighbours can be as quiet as a country mice while the sun shines but neighbours from hell when the lights go down. And according to several articles in the press, noisy neighbours are on the increase!

Another factor to investigate is noisy pets. If you are presented with an opportunity, chat to other residents in the area or do some research into property sales in the close vicinity. If properties have regularly changed hands there may be more to it.