Buying in a commuter hotspot

Published Feb 15, 2019 – 4 mins read

Whether you work in London, Leeds, Manchester or Bristol the appeal of living away from the bustling city you work in can appeal greatly.

When you’re planning a move to a commuter hotspot there are some things that you may fail to consider potentially meaning you find yourself unhappy in your new home. Whatever the location of your search, here are our top tips for making a move to the country.

Taking public transport to work

With rail prices continuing to rise it is more important than ever to carefully consider your move out of a city to a commuter area.

Whilst in principle you might be happy with an hour long commute is it realistically viable in the long term,  is it an hour once you’re sat on the train or is it an hour door to door?

Consider the quality of your commute as well as the length, is it a long walk to the station or a journey in the car which will inevitably feature lots of traffic?

As well as the length and possibility of having to stand the entire journey, do you know if the service is reliable, or is the line notorious for delays and cancellations? How many changes are required for you to get to work – the more elements there are the more likely it is to come unstuck. Getting two buses and a train to work might seem viable on paper but one late bus and you’ll miss the train you need to catch and likely be late for work, and stressed by the time you do arrive.

With the inevitability of it being busy during the commuting period there’s a strong possibility you won’t get a seat for the entirety of the journey. With this in mind have you considered the next nearest stations, it might be that you’re not far from the end of the line meaning a move closer to another station could result in you getting a seat and only adding a few minutes to the time on the train.

If you enjoy watching films, listening to podcasts or reading then it’s possible you’ll thoroughly enjoy the time at either end of your working day. You’ll return home to a potentially peaceful area and a perhaps a larger property with the countryside on your doorstep to readily enjoy on your days off.

Driving to work

It might be that your commute will not rely on public transport at all as you’ll be driving to work. Planning for this type of commute can sometimes be harder as it’s unlikely you’ll plan to view a property during rush hour – we would recommend you do this to test the water, especially if you don’t know the area.

Have you considered Park and Ride? You might find it much easier to park just outside the city and hop on the bus. If your place of work doesn’t provide you with parking this can also be much more cost effective than paying to park in a central car park but there is still a cost involved so be sure to factor this in.

Relocating with family

For many the reality is once they have children they do not take advantage of many of the things a city has to offer which appealed before they settled down.

A house with a garden surrounded by green spaces is commonly viewed as much more appropriate than a small apartment in a concrete jungle when you have a family and thus many look to move to locations that they can commute into the city from.

When relocating to a commuter hotspot with your family it’s likely that the quality of the local schools will be a top priority for you.

In many areas the schools in the countryside have smaller class sizes and larger playgrounds along with other bonuses, but it is not guaranteed that schools are better outside of the city.

The selling agent should be able to name the best known schools in the vicinity of the property but be sure to do your research as catchment areas are often strict, you can also employ the services of an education consultant.

Moving to the middle of nowhere

It seems idyllic when you step out of the car for a viewing on a Saturday morning, the only noises you can hear are cows baying and birds singing, you didn’t meet a single other car on the narrow country lane you came up to reach the property nor did you see any other properties along the way.

Whilst for some this peaceful bliss is exactly what they’re looking for and as they’ll be driving to work or driving to the nearest station the remoteness isn’t a problem but would this realistically work for you? Be sure to consider all eventualities.

Paying a premium

Beware of the commuter hotspots that are so popular prices are not dissimilar to those in the city itself. For some this is no issue as they’re more focused on the surroundings of the property.

As an asset it’s worth considering that the value of the property within the city is likely to see a bigger increase in value than that of a property further out.

In recent years the promise of new transport infrastructure has caused prices to dramatically increase in and around the station locations, in some instances years before the transport connection has been built. Planning for the future is always wise, be sure the location will work for you in the meantime.

Working from home

With so many companies now employing remote workers who only visit the offices once or twice a week the need to live in a city for some is decreasing and due to the irregularity of the commute they’ll consider a much longer journey to reach the office.

The flip side is that if you’re in this position you’ll be working from home frequently so it’s important include certain factors in your search. The property will likely need appropriate space for you to work from and be wary of noise from the likes of schools, warehouses or busy roads.

Moving to a commuter hotspot

Whether you’re drawn to moving out of the city to get a bigger property, have a large garden or to be surrounded by green spaces it’s important to make a contemplated decision, especially if you’re relocating to an area previously unknown to you.

Our team of professional property finders can provide expert advice, if you’d like to learn more about our search and acquisition service please, contact us for a no obligation discussion.