Re­search the area be­fore you move

Manawatu Standard - Property Weekly - - Property -

Some­times, for one rea­son or an­other, you have to move out of an area you have lived in for a long time.

You might be re­lo­cat­ing to a new town, or shift­ing in­side the same town to meet the de­mands of new cir­cum­stances.

In ei­ther case, you are likely to be un­sure about where to go.

Jump­ing into the car and in­spect­ing the var­i­ous neigh­bour­hoods is one op­tion. But do­ing this will leave you with lit­tle more than an idea of what a sub­urb looks like – rather than what it is like to live in.

Usu­ally, a lit­tle more re­search is re­quired.

The ob­vi­ous fac­tors of per­sonal taste and choice aside, it is wise to draw up a check­list of things to look for while in­ves­ti­gat­ing a new town or area: ■ If you have chil­dren, or plan to have them, what is the qual­ity of the schools in the area and how close are they to where you are think­ing of buy­ing? Also look care­fully at school zones. You may think you are in the right zone, only to dis­cover, too late, that you have missed out by a street or two. ■ What sort of peo­ple live in the area? Are they pre­dom­i­nantly fam­i­lies, re­tirees, young cou­ples, or tran­sient peo­ple? A stu­dent area may not be suit­able if you have small chil­dren who will be dis­turbed by loud noise. ■ Is the style of the houses or apart­ments in the area ap­peal­ing – or suit­able? Buy­ing a char­ac­ter home, in a street full of such prop­er­ties, could land you with a main­te­nance prob­lem. ■ What are the lo­cal crime statis­tics? Is there too much traf­fic noise? Does the area have a reg­u­lar bus ser­vice? Is there go­ing to be any ma­jor con­struc­tion in the area in the near fu­ture? Are there too many one-way sys­tems that could cause prob­lems for your vis­i­tors? ■ How have prop­erty val­ues be­haved in the area dur­ing the past few years? Is it be­com­ing a pop­u­lar area, or has there been a lot of house move­ment? ■ When you drive around the area, do you see many ‘‘For sale’’ or ‘‘Sold’’ signs?

Re­mem­ber, too, that hav­ing a lo­cal dairy and fish and chip shop can be handy if you don’t want to drive long dis­tances to pick up take­aways or for­got­ten gro­ceries.

If you need help in iden­ti­fy­ing a de­sir­able neigh­bour­hood, ask a lo­cal real es­tate agent for ad­vice.

The more ground work you do now, the more heartache you are likely to save your­self in the fu­ture.

Home­work: Find­ing a home close to parks and schools needs a lit­tle re­search.

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