where to live

Guild Blog: Location, location, location: a guide to finding your next home

There is one thing that all property professionals agree on, whether they work in commercial property or residential, and it’s that location is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a home. Property gurus around the world continue to emphasise the importance of location because it has such a massive bearing on a property’s desirability and potential investment return.

There are several key elements to consider before making your final decision. If a location has more positive elements, than negative, it will be in higher demand and will have a greater potential resale value in the future.  Essentially, it comes down to desirability and whether buyers would want to live where the home is situated – there is a direct collation between demand and property prices.

Don’t compromise on location

There are a lot of buyers who focus on the property itself and perhaps compromise on where it is situated. However, when it comes to the appreciation potential of the home, this will end up hurting their back pocket. A home can be changed, updated or renovated, but you can’t alter its location. Therefore, it is always better to prioritise location and compromise on the property.

pins in a map

Development

A good location is where there is the potential for growth and development. The area needs to be able to support the demand for property over the long term and subsequently increase its value in time. However, bear in mind that certain developments can devalue a location, such as the construction of a power plant or dump within proximity to the home. Before purchasing in an area, find out about future development plans. Developments such as new industrial sites, new roads, or railways or even industrial activities can vastly alter the price profile of an area.

Investment and commercial activity

National retailers and property developers will do thorough market research before deciding to invest in an area. So, commercial activity, corporate investment and residential and commercial property developments, are all indicators that the area has the potential for strong investment returns. Also, the presence of long-established or well-known brands within the surrounds will indicate that there is a level of confidence that the area has good growth potential.

Infrastructure

The infrastructure in an area needs to accommodate the level of service required by its residents. Neglected areas that experience poor service delivery are not a good option. These areas can be distinguished by the upkeep of the general public land such as the parks, pavements and roads.

cycling in the park

Amenities

Another factor to consider is the quality of the amenities in the area. These include shopping and medical facilities, entertainment areas, restaurants, public services and outstanding schools. Convenience is a highly valued commodity.

Shopping Centre
View of the ceiling of the Hall of a beautiful vintage shopping center in England

Crimes levels

Properties in a high crime rate zone will not hold their value over time. Research from insurer Direct Line revealed that almost half of Brits would check crimes statistics in neighbourhoods they might live in, and 47% would not buy a home in an area with a high crime rate. Over a third said they would expect to pay less for a property in a high crime area.

To check the crime rates in an area, you can visit crime-statistics.co.uk/postcode or police.co.uk.

Transport

Accessibility to transport routes and train stations will also have an impact on an area’s appreciation potential. A large portion of the British population commute far distances every day to get to work, so easy access to public transport is a major consideration.

train station
Train on platform in station in London

The adage of location, location, location is as relevant today as it was when it first appeared in print in 1926. While finding the right home in the right location will require time and research, the future benefits of solid growth in the value of the property will certainly make it worthwhile.

Get in touch to find a home in the right location!

Here at The Guild, we can help you find a home in the right location. Simply contact us today to find out more, or visit our buyers guides on our website.

Guild Blog: Top Tips to Buy Land and Build Your Dream Home

Top Tips to Buy Land and Build Your Dream Home from The Guild of Property Professionals

GPEA – 26th September 2017

 

Are you dreaming of building your own home? Buying land and building a property on it is a dream many people share. But what about the logistics? Buying land and building your own house is uncharted territory for most people.

David Davies of David Davies Estate Agents has seen this process happen time and time again. With almost thirty years of estate agency experience, David has seen many people build their dream homes on land that they’ve bought for that purpose. He’s seen where things can go wrong, and all of the ways that a buyer can prevent these things from happening. Read on for David’s do’s and don’ts for building your own property.

Q: So you want to buy land to build a home. What should you be looking for in the land? Are there any red flags to watch out for? 

A: Firstly, when looking to buy land to build your dream home, carefully consider the land’s location, size, and surroundings. This includes whether the property would be an appropriate size or style that will fit with the neighbours, which will become an important factor when you apply for planning approval.

Q: Is it feasible to demolish an existing property on land that you’ve purchased?

A: Always do a land registry search. It’s a small cost to pay, but can tell you a lot about the land you’re considering. The search will be able to tell if the property is registered. If it was built before 1982, it may not be registered, and unregistered land can take time to get papers in order, especially if you’re relying on old deeds, when it may be very difficult to prove title.

If you’re demolishing a property, you will certainly need an asbestos survey. You can’t just knock a property with asbestos down, and removing asbestos can be a costly job. You’ll also need a bat survey, which usually entails an initial survey and often a ‘dawn and dusk emergence survey’. Before building, you’ll need a geotechnical survey, as without this unexpected building costs can arise, which can add thousands of pounds to your build cost.

Q: You’ve bought the land, and now want to go ahead with the build. What kind of permissions do you need, and how will this affect the time frame of building your house?

A: Step back a little. Before exchanging contracts, it’s essential to put a preliminary enquiry into the planning department. This is called a pre-application. You will need to get an opinion from the local planning department, to see if they will grant full approval to build. You can prepare and submit this yourself, as long as you can sketch a rough idea of your design. The cost of doing this is currently £140, so it’s not a large risk, but if you buy first and don’t get approval, it could be a costly mistake.

Q: What happens after you’ve applied for permission? 

A: Subject to the above, you now own the land. You then need to employ an architect or an architectural designer to save money. They will discuss your design requirements, and be warned, architects can charge up to 10% of the property’s build cost, though designers will cost less. Visit the RIBA website to find a list of local firms.

Q: What else should I be aware of? 

A: Definitely think about utilities (gas, electricity, main drains, etc.). All these things will add to your total costings. A tip here is to get your solicitor to do a ‘multi search’, which doesn’t provide all the locations of various utilities, but will help you through the process of dealing with the public companies.

Q: What about trees?

A: Check and see if there are any trees preventing your build, and if so, if there are any tree protection orders. Speak to the councils’ tree specialist; they are free, knowledgeable and usually very helpful. You may need to employ a professional tree surgeon, especially if the land is heavily planted. Try to find land that’s not too overgrown.

On another note, make sure that there’s no Japanese knot weed on the land. I’ve seen clients struggle terribly with eradicating it, and it would put me off the land completely unless the seller has it removed by a specialist, who can provide an insurance-backed guarantee that it has been successfully eradicated.

Contact your local Guild Member to find out about land for sale in your area. They will be able to guide you through the buying process, too.

If you are interested in building your dream home please contact Joplings and ask to speak to Richard or Michael on 01845 521 317.