Moving house once coronavirus lockdown eases

How To | 28 May 2020
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If you are planning to move house while coronavirus hazard is still there, you may find this article useful.

How to view properties safely in the light of coronavirus hazard?

Real estate industry has been on hold for 7 weeks. However the government has eased the restrictions from 13th of May, meaning that people are now allowed to move house and attend property viewings.

Although in-person house viewings are now permitted, the government has advised that home movers should conduct the majority of their property searches online to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Home buyers and tenants are advised to conduct in-person viewings only when they are strongly considering making an offer.

We can’t emphasize enough that it is essential to adhere to the Government’s official advice. It is vital that everyone follows the measures that are in place to limit the spread of the virus.

With area research being an essential part of your due diligence, it’s important that the majority of the area research will be also done on-line. In fact, there is a lot that can be learned about an area using on-line tools and what could be otherwise missed when just having a walk in the area.

Here are some tips of what you may want to check when researching an area:

1.       Area affluence

Here at CrystalRoof, we have analysed local data and concluded that area affluence depends on the following factors:

  • Residents’ income
  • Deprivation level in the area
  • Social Grade of the residents
  • Qualification of the residents

With each of these indicators, you can see how areas compare across London. All you need to do is browse the heatmaps and you’ll find where the values of these indicators are at their highest and the lowest levels.

You can find out more at the following link.

2.       Neighbours

It’s always a good idea to have a chat with your future neighbours before you commit to a property, as this can provide you with a valuable source of local information. But if you’re not able to do this, you can check what typical residents in the area are like by using an online resource such as this one.

3.       Crime rates

It goes without saying that everyone wants to feel safe where they live. So, it’s always worth having a look at crime rates in the local area and checking if any crimes took place in the proximity to your future house. I’d suggest looking at the following link to see how crime rates compare with other areas.

4.       Transport links

If you don’t drive, it’s worthwhile researching how easy your commute would be. A good starting point would be to check if there are any nearby train stations or underground lines available in your area. It’s also an advantage if several different transport networks are within easy reach from where you live (underground, overground, buses, etc). Transport services in London get suspended quite often, so it’s always good to have an alternative commute option.

If there is a single commute option in your area, then it’s worth checking its reliability. To do this you can check out our handy online resource which provides information on transport links and the reliability of London underground links here.

If you are considering buying a property, you may also want to check the generic transport accessibility of the area. Often people only consider commuting to their current job.  However, jobs change more frequently than transport connectivity in the area. This is why you may want to consider the Public Transport Accessibility Level (PTAL) for the area, which explains how easily you can commute from your area to any other in London.

5.       Local amenities

Regardless of age and lifestyle, people tend to say that at least one good grocery store nearby is their minimal requirement in terms of local facilities. Based on your lifestyle, you may also consider such things as local restaurants, bars, gyms. Using this tool reveals which facilities are present in an area that you are interested in.

6.       Schools

If you have or are planning to have kids, you may want to check if the area has good schools nearby. Most schools admit students based on the catchment areas. Although, schools may define catchment areas in different ways. In most cases, the rule of thumb is the closer the school, the higher the chances are that your child/children will get admitted there. Using this online resource, you can find schools by location, their OFSTED ratings, and main performance indicators. 

7.       Noise

Noise can often make life miserable, which is why it shouldn’t be overlooked at a viewing. So, to see if there are any possible noise issues including traffic noise, aircraft noise, noise from sirens, bars, church bells etc, you can use this tool.

How much a property is affected by noise often depends on the direction that it faces. So, be sure to keep in mind the potential issues that you found during your online research and check if they could potentially cause an issue further down the line when you view the property in person.

8.       Air quality

Poor air quality may affect your health in the long run. This especially goes for people who have allergies or diseases such as asthma, who are likely to be sensitive to the air quality in an area. You can check if the air pollution level in a chosen area meets current EU standards with this online tool.