Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here

by Linda Nightingale

There is more to finding your dream home than just bricks and mortar, Linda Nightingale gives us some pointers on picking the right location too.

There has been a great deal of publicity in recent weeks about a survey carried out by one of the big banks which showed that having shopping facilities nearby in your village or town could add to the value of a residential property. Looking at the picture overall however, there can be many reasons for a spike in house prices, for example it is well known that school catchment areas come at a premium.


I recently moved to a new house and my son told me to ensure that I was near a bus stop, a doctor’s surgery and a good hospital! You probably want your purchase to last at least 10 years, possibly much longer, before you move again, so get it right. As the popularity of house searching via the property websites grows there is an endless choice of exciting new homes in amazing locations and it is easy to get distracted. Well don’t!


Close and easy access to local shops is often a top priority for many. Petrol costs can add up if you want a daily newspaper and must embark on a round trip. Shops and banking facilities nearby can be important. A village location with post office and local amenities store can be very desirable, whatever your age. Schools are vitally important for owners with families. Catchment areas are known to raise property prices but your investment should show a return in the long run and having a school within walking distance where your children can play with other pupils out of school hours, has a lot of advantages.

Access to motorways is desirable to many, as are train stations so this too needs to be factored into your decision making.

Ensure the location suits you at all times of the day and weekends. Take the time to pass the property you are thinking of buying, when the local pub is in full swing. Visit on the days when there are school runs; is road parking outside a problem?

Don’t forget to check if there are to be any major developments in the area. Look at the planning office website, read the local papers, check crime rates. It sounds onerous but it will be a lot worse if your dream house turns into a nightmare.


There are many reasons for moving to a new home, you may be divorced or widowed, you may be finding your family house too much of a burden, perhaps driving is becoming more difficult, your children have moved away, you are looking to invest in bricks and mortar for your future.

Having worked in the property market for many years I can tell you that buyers get tempted by ‘the perfect home’ and disregard logical thought processes in their desire to own it. However, if you draw up a list of your personal location needs, do not be tempted to look at properties which do not fulfil this criterion. Moving is not cheap so be careful what you choose!