PLAN YOUR ROUTE TO HAPPINESS
With rail chaos and the scaling back of HS2, buying near a bus stop could be a wise move
GOOD transport links may well be a key factor when buying a property. And with the scaling back of hS2 and the advance of ultra-low emission zones, opting for a home on a bus route could be a canny move.
‘With the rail industry also facing challenges, having easy access to bus routes has become a crucial factor for prospective homebuyers,’ says Christie Cook, managing director of retail at hodge Bank.
‘ This, coupled with the advancements of Clean Air Zones discouraging car use and promoting sustainable living, means using the bus can offer several advantages.’ But before you buy that dream property, what are the pitfalls? We asked the experts.
hANDING over much of the responsibility for the daily commute to the bus driver means you have the time and head space to enjoy a more relaxing start to the day.
‘Most bus companies have apps showing bus times which can really cut down on time waiting around,’ says Sarah Walker, of Lessons in Lettings.
It may also be cheaper than running a car — the Government has pledged to cap single bus fares at £2 outside London until the end of October 2023 and then at £2.50 until November 30, 2024.
PrOPerTY values near public transport can be higher, which for homeowners may be a good thing in the long-term. ‘ When it comes to what we offer for property, we will pay as much as 5 pc more for property close to a bus route,’ says Max royston, of London- based property firm Gaffsy.
‘ This is only going to increase. The insistence by planning officers on car- free developments will also compound the price disparity.’
CHECK FOR CHANGES
Be AWAre that bus routes can change, for example with the introduction of night buses, says Sarah Walker.
‘It’s wise to check with the local council planning department for future plans for the public transport network or nearby development projects that could impact the property.
‘Joining a local Facebook group or neighbourhood network can give a sense of what’s going on in an area, too.’
Nick Woodward, lettings director at property company essential Living, also points out that bus routes are usually No Parking zones, ‘ So if you have a vehicle and no drive, you may find it harder to find a parking space for your car.’
Bus services can be delayed, too. ‘So, the convenience of living near a bus stop depends on the frequency and reliability of the service,’ adds Christie Cook.
BEWARE OF NOISE
The structural impact on a property of being near a bus route is usually minimal, but noise and vibration from passing vehicles can be an issue.
‘ however, you can mitigate these factors by investing in soundproof windows and doors, using heavy curtains to absorb noise and air purifiers to counter air pollution,’ says James Ashworth, Landwood Property Auctions director.
Your privacy may be a problem, too — with people passing by looking out of the window — or even those waiting at a bus stop with a view into your lounge.
‘ People don’t want others loitering outside their property, even if waiting for a bus.
‘This could impact the saleability of the property,’ says Simone Santaub at Property rescue.