It is never easy finding a place to live. Transport, house prices, what the neighbours are like; there are so many things to consider. It is even harder when looking for a family home. All those problems for one or two people are trebled: the question is now not just where you would like to live, but where would you like your children and partner to live as well.
The property experts over at www.TheMoveChannel.com have put together some tips when it comes to choosing a family home destination especially for us!
Education is one of the main things to consider. How are the local schools? Are there higher education opportunities available? What proportion of children manages to get five or more GCSE results ranked at a C grade or higher?
You should also be wary of crime rates. The lower the crime rate in the area you live, the safer you and your children will be – but also the less likely they are to be tempted to join in. Nobody wants to walk along the street feeling at risk, but even fewer people want to discover their child is knee-deep in it themselves.
Open spaces are another priority: if you do not have a garden in your home, then are there parks nearby to take your children? In a time where obesity is an increasingly big concern, outdoor exercise is an important part of being a parent.
Put those together and rural areas with a strong school system tend to be the result: someone peaceful and pretty with a large amount of countryside and a welcoming community.
The problem? Those are the places where the prices are highest.
According to research by Savills, fewer than one in three households in the most desirable locations in the UK had dependent children, as rising property values price families out of the ideal markets.
The trick, then, is to find the property hotspots with the fairest conditions – and the fairest prices.
TheMoveChannel.com analyses its UK property listings to present some of the most popular UK markets among family house hunters:
Buckinghamshire is known for being the capital of wealthy people. Regularly ranked as one of the richest places to live, the county also has one of the highest life expectancies in the UK. Residents have ranges from Cilla Black to Noel Edmunds, but locations such as Chiltern can be worth the slightly higher premium, while Milton Keynes’ range of new build property is surprisingly affordable.
Boasting a university, a healthy supply of schools and two major canals, Northamptonshire is a beautiful and attractive place to house a family. Well connected to London and other main cities, it is ideal for commuting parents, while kids will enjoy the range of parks and the proximity to Silverstone Grand Prix.
Nottinghamshire can sometimes carry an unfairly negative reputation, but was actually ranked the 14th best place to live in the UK by a Channel 4 poll. The district of Rushcliffe posts the best GCSE results in the East Midlands – enough to push the house prices above the rest of the county, but still far below that of Central London.
From the Ascot racecourse and Windsor Castle, Berkshire is a county of contrasts and diversity. Indeed, the villages and thatched roofs are as quaint and tranquil as family life can get, despite being only a short commutable drive from London. The area now is mostly known as the home of Kate Middleton. If the property market is fit for a princess, then it should be a dream for everyone else.