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Home arrow News arrow Property intangibles hidden location considerations

Property intangibles hidden location considerations

Tuesday, 18 September 2012
We all know about the housebuyer's mantra of ‘location, location, location'. Typically, it means being in favoured residential areas, with decent access to amenities and transport links – while for those with children, being in a catchment area for a school with a good local reputation can be vital.

We all know about the housebuyer's mantra of ‘location, location, location'. Typically, it means being in favoured residential areas, with decent access to amenities and transport links – while for those with children, being in a catchment area for a school with a good local reputation can be vital.

Depending on your lifestyle and your needs, it could mean having plenty of room for off-street parking or having rolling fields at the edge of your garden.

Undoubtedly the internet has become an important aid to scoping out homes-to-be. A generation ago, you had to view a long list of potential places to live – now you can use Google Maps, and especially the street view feature, to learn a lot about an area in five minutes.

Getting the widest picture possible of a potential home is important to the decision making process, because you will be taking on a major financial commitment with your mortgage . Check current mortgage rates and make sure your current mortgage deal represents good value. And if you’re generally concerned about rising living costs, you may like to consider a fixed-rate mortgage which will help you to know how much you will have to pay each month for a specified period. Early repayment charges apply during the fixed-rate period. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Of course, if you are really interested, you are still going to need to make a couple of viewings. But you can also use the internet to learn as much as possible about the more intangible aspects of the house search.

•    Mobile signal – You may well have a landline at your home, but increasingly, we rely on our mobiles for convenience. So check whether you are to expect patchy coverage: communications watchdog Ofcom has a handy page which links to postcode checkers for the major networks. As with any online tools, bear in mind that they should only serve as a guide – you’d need to try out the coverage when you view.

•    Mobile internet – As we increasingly use our phones for browsing the web, checking the mobile internet signal could be important – particularly if you don’t have Wi-Fi broadband at home.

•    Broadband coverage – If you plan to use a laptop to work from home, using a digital device to stream or download data, or play online computer games, you will want to know that you are not in a so-called ‘not-spot’ – an area where there is currently no home broadband infrastructure. Again, there are online tools which will give you an idea of whether there’s likely to be a problem.

•    Broadband speeds - Bear in mind that even if you are in a broadband-enabled area, speeds will differ between addresses in the same street. This can depend on your provider is, among other factors.

•    Environmental issues – These will be highlighted when you get environmental and surveyor reports – but by that time you’ll be some way along the road to buying a property.  Visit the Environment Agency’s interactive maps to get an idea of whether there are potential flooding or pollution problems in your area. For radon – an invisible but potentially harmful gas – check the Health Protection Agency’s reference site. If you are concerned about something you find, seek professional advice.

When you’ve bought that dream home, remember that early repayment charges apply during the fixed-rate period.Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

This article has been written for information and interest purposes only and should not be construed as advice or used to make financial decisions. Expert financial advice should always be sought and any links contained within this article are included for information purposes only. Links to third party websites are not an endorsement by us of products and services on such websites. You have entered a website owned and operated by and will be subject to their website's terms and conditions.

Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in retail banking (bank accounts and instant access savings accounts), credit cards, corporate banking, investment banking, wealth management and investment management services, with an extensive international presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs over 140,000 people. Barclays moves, invests and protects money and provides ISAs , home insurance, life insurance, a mortgage calculator, guides on how to buy shares and other services for over 49 million customers and clients worldwide. For further information about Barclays, please visit our website www.barclays.co.uk.

Issued by Barclays  Bank PLC. Registered in England. Barclays Bank PLC is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). Registered No 1026167. Registered Office:  1 Churchill Place, London, E14 5HP.

This story relates to: mortgage  property market  [SEE ALL]


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