That's probably where the phrase location, location, location comes from!
When it comes to drawing up a list of your requirements for a house, no doubt first on the list will be the location, and of course rightly so.
But the key is not to have too many pre-conceived ideas: take a look at the property prices in that location on a property website of your choice, but look within, say, a 10 mile radius. That's because whilst you may have your heart set on a particular area, there may be properties in another area that is close enough that are a lot more affordable, and you might not even know about them in advance.
It is not at all uncommon for literally a minute or two's drive to make all the difference in terms of property prices. Even within an area there are 'fashionable' or 'desirable' roads and the prices in these can be much higher than in surrounding areas, for at times not really any good reason.
If you are buying a house in an area where you currently live or rent, then clearly you will have a head start in knowing what the sort of prices are and what you can get for your money - no doubt as well as a feel for which areas are a bit more expensive and which are cheaper, and crucially an understanding as to why that is the case.
If you are looking in a location that you know little about, then try to do as much research as possible. For instance, if you are going to commute to work, then before buying, do a dummy run to find out what the journey will be like - and experience the actual time rather than the quoted time! Take a look at the facilities that are available in the area and consider practicalities such as how far away is the local supermarket, are there parking problems in the road that you're thinking of and so on.
Remember that a place can look quite different at night too, so when buying somewhere unknown to you you must visit the area at night too - hopefully there won't be much difference, but is there a local pub nearby that attracts an unruly crowd most nights, that's the sort of thing that may not be readily apparent during the day!
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