We have been in our current home for nearly six and a half years. Which seems to have flown by if I’m honest, even though it sounds like a long time. But from being just a young couple when we moved in, to now having two children, it seems like we are outgrowing our house a little. With only having one reception room and the fact that I work full-time from home, we are feeling the strain.
The husband commutes into the city everyday and while we have faced facts that that is going to be the case, we just want to look to live somewhere that has a better commuting route. You’ve heard all about southern rail on the news, right? Well yep, that is the line that we are on. So it is a bit of a nightmare. So we have been quite active in looking for somewhere new to live.
We are pretty confident that we will self-market our home, or choose one of those online agencies that do the online marketing for you and it is just one set fee. The thought of giving even 2% or 3% away to an estate agent is quite painful, when it is something that we could do for ourselves. House prices in Surrey are ridiculous, so we don’t want it to cost us more than it should. One thing that we would be looking for are conveyancing solicitors. I think they are a must to be able to guide you through the buying and selling process. But what else will we be looking for? Here our the top things that we look for as we embark on our house search – we have quite specific criteria!
With both of our children in school (Max in primary and Chloe in pre-school), we are pretty picky about the area having good schools for them to go to. The primary school and nursery school that they both currently attend are both Ofsted rated as outstanding. I know a ‘good’ rated school isn’t going to be a bad option. But I’m a self-proclaimed snob about it and don’t want to ‘demote’ them down, if you know what I mean. We have been looking in some areas and the outstanding rated schools are quite far out / outside of the submission area. So I guess it just means that we haven’t found the perfect place yet. But for me, that is pretty important.
The husband isn’t going to be switching jobs anytime soon, or at least not changing location. So we just want to improve the speed of the commute. So we have been looking at areas that connect to the City Thames-link, as it would mean no underground as part of the commute. It also means that we have to live close enough to a train station. We know a lot of stations will be right in town centres which is ideal, but as long as it is walkable, or even cycle-able, then it will be fine with us. We know there will be a premium for this, but as we don’t want to live right in London, it is something we’re prepared for.
As we have been choosing where to even start looking for a house, we’ve been narrowing down locations. Places like St. Albans have come up. But as lovely as they are, I don’t want to move to a completely random area where we don’t know anyone, if we don’t have to. My parents are in Yorkshire (but might be moving south at some point) and my in-laws are in Kent. So being close to one set, or even close to my siblings, would be preferable. Though I know this isn’t always possible.
What are your top things to look for when moving house? Obviously, the home is pretty important too. But you can make changes to it and redecorate. It is all about location, location, location, right? 😉