Great house, or great area – or hold out for both? The property vs. location conundrum often opens up lively debate and divides amongst buyers. Conversations with clients reveal how difficult the choice is, but there are ways to approach the situation objectively so you can make a wise choice on a big investment. We’ve collated our key considerations.
Consider your lifestyle
Have a realistic set of priorities in mind based on your lifestyle: If you know you’re a social bee who is more likely to be out of the house than in, compromising on an area could be a step too far. On the other hand, if you have a busy lifestyle and love nothing more than shutting the door to the world at the end of the day to relax at home, then you’ll probably be swayed by a beautiful home whatever the area.
If you’re planning to start or grow your family, you need a property type that will grow with you over time, a surrounding space and a garden, for example, if you choose to renovate and extend. You’ll also need the schools, transport links and facilities nearby to help you settle into the area. Luckily, Brighton has many distinctive neighbourhoods that suit a variety of lifestyles.
A town or city can change dramatically over time, so knowing what the future has in store for your area before you settle down for the long term is crucial. Every council has a local plan which outlines upcoming residential and commercial developments and infrastructure proposals which could affect the local property prices and the way of life for residents. Whether these changes are positive or negative, it’s important to understand all the facts so you can make a considered choice.
There are just some things you can’t change
Most people who opt for location do so thinking that they can turn any property into a dream home anyway. Under permitted development rights, which have been relaxed in recent years, it’s true that homeowners can convert, extend or remodel a home without planning permission. However, there are a few aspects of a property which may not be able to alter, like the view from the top floor, dimensions across a house, the size and position of a garden and surrounding noise. We always advocate looking at a floor plan before purchase so you can eliminate any space concerns early in the process.
What are you willing to compromise?
What is your deal breaker when you’re buying a house? Even in the most in-demand property markets, buyers often compromise on something as no vision of the perfect home is ever the same. Set out limits and list your must-haves. This alone could help you decide whether it’s location or a house that is your first priority.
Work out the costs of a ‘fixer upper’
The price of a ‘fixer upper’ may look appealing on the surface, but a low property price could reveal substantial issues that are costly to put right, like a very short lease or structural damage.
If you have the time and money to invest in the property, buying a low cost home in a desirable area could be an option. Buyers should expect properties to be in good order when they come on to a competitive market, however, it’s best to work with your estate agent to get all the facts before you buy.
Use your estate agent!
A vital part of our service is providing buyers with the local knowledge they need to make an informed decision. We understand that moving house is daunting, and moving to an area that you know nothing about makes the transition even more of a challenge. We’ll tell you historic property trends, how an area has developed and what an area has to offer.
Our knowledge is at your disposal, so maximise this to the fullest! Email our expert residential team or call us on 01273 232 232 to talk postcodes, properties and prioritise in the Sussex property market.