Whether you’re looking to establish yourself in a new city, raising a family for the first time, seeking greater affordability, or simply looking for a change of scene, there’s much to consider when moving home.
Many will seek a burgeoning community spirit, handy shopping accessibility or sparkling nightlife. While others may canvas the best-rated schools to send their children to.
With its metropolitan cityscapes, outstanding natural beauty and vibrant culture, Scotland ticks all of these boxes and more.
In fact, new research from Watermans shows that nearly 300,000 people are looking to make Scotland their new home by relocating from other parts of the UK.
To help find a community that’s right for you, we review some important factors to consider in this handy step-by-step guide.
1. Local Amenities
No matter what type of community you decide upon, you’ll want to be in close proximity to a supermarket, shops, a post office and other essential local services. Beyond that, the vibe of your chosen location is entirely up to you. You might choose an area with a buzzy high street, and community feel, some top neighbourhood restaurants or plenty of green spaces for playing sports and other outdoor pursuits. Naturally, the quality of attractions on your doorstep will affect your house valuation. Regardless, you need to get this decision right.
Tzana Webster, Director of Property Sales at Watermans advises: “If you’re seeking plenty of stimulation, then you won’t want to live anywhere too remote. Similarly, if peace and quiet is your thing, then you won’t want to live in a bustling suburban area.
“Do your research and find out the best locations for sports clubs, eating out, cultural attractions and nightlife. “
2. Health is Wealth
Healthcare is an essential concern when choosing a new community. Your proximity to these amenities may vary depending on your age or health status. Most people will want to be within driving distance of the local hospital in case of emergency, while some people may require easy access to the GP if they have frequent appointments. 22% of the hospitals in the UK can be found in Scotland, with 279, while there are also 5,134 GPs registered in the country. Setting yourself up with these shortly after move-in is crucially important to a happy, healthy tenancy.
3. Back to School
For many, the patter of tiny feet will herald a move into a new home as parents seek a quieter area or a larger house to raise their children. Smart movers will research the potential schools in the area and look to register their children ahead of the new school year where possible. There’re currently 5.099 schools in Scotland, with parents keen to locate one ‘Outstanding’ or, at the very least, ‘Good’ by governing body Ofsted.
Examine your chosen school’s offering closely. Do they provide a holistic educational programme? Are the right pastoral care measures in place, and does their extra-curricular offering aim to foster a well-rounded upbringing?
Assessing transport links is also important as you’ll have to learn whether you can fit the school run in and around your own working commitments or whether your children can navigate their own way to school safely.
4. Stay Safe
Last, but very much not least, reviewing the safety credentials of your chosen area is paramount to your happiness in your new home. You should select an area you feel comfortable walking around in, during the day and of an evening. You don’t want to discover a community has serious crime and safety issues after you’ve bought, so you should conduct research prior to purchasing, using police statistics and community databases.
Some important things to consider: Does the area have a record of burglaries? Is there a gang culture? Is the school within safe walking distance of your new home? Are public spaces well-lit for late nights and early mornings? Conducting early research can help.