Moving to a city is an exciting step to take as many cultural, social and leisure opportunities will all be on your doorstep. However, moving from the countryside such as a village or even a small town or suburb can trigger a big change in lifestyle. It’s helpful to consider certain areas in advance to support your urban buying decision.
The following tips will help when buying homes in the city:
Find out as much as you can about the area
It’s extremely helpful to know what’s in your immediate neighbourhood. For example, what reputation does it have? Is it quiet or traffic-bound and what buildings (and their uses) lie around your intended property?
Consider costs that might increase when buying city real estate
In general, cities are more expensive places to live and budgeting for higher costs in the best cities to live in is a good step when considering a move. In particular, these costs will probably go up:
- Car insurance
- Home insurance
- Community and local authority charges
- Leasehold costs (many city properties are leasehold)
Parking for vehicles
If you’re a car owner, find out about where you can park your vehicle as parking comes at a premium in cities. It’s great if you’re buying a house with your own drive, but apartment dwelling can be a different kettle of fish. Unless you have a dedicated parking space, you could be involved in a ‘free for all’ hunt for parking on a daily basis and even have to park some distance from your home and walk back.
Getting in and out of the city
Depending on where you work and your patterns of travelling into and out of the city, you may face regular traffic congestion. Nearly all cities are very busy places in terms of traffic on access routes or ring roads. If you’re a regular car commuter through the city or out and back in again, factor in time for traffic delays and congestion.
Get to know the tourist season and any particular events or festivals
Some cities have a huge seasonal influx of tourists at certain times of the year. While this can create a vibrant atmosphere, it can also cause annoyance to residents if they’re on a particularly busy tourist trail or have to fight the crowds to get from A to B.
If you’re moving to the city to benefit from culture, leisure and entertainment, consider your proximity to your favourite districts like restaurants and bar areas, theatres, concert halls, etc. Simply ‘nipping out’ to enjoy a drink, a meal or attend a show has a real appeal if you’re a city dweller and appreciate quick and easy access to all the perks.
Consider noise levels
An increased population in cities invariably brings increased noise levels from traffic and the general hustle and bustle, with late-night noise a common issue in districts known for nightlife. This may not be a problem for you, but it’s good to know in advance by visiting your proposed location at different times of the day.
These days, many international cities have had millions in investment spent to upgrade them. Pedestrianised areas have been created, low emission zones, more green spaces and cultural venues, all making cities enticing places to live.
If you don’t think you can afford a city move, perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to win a house to benefit from all the wonderful features and benefits of urban living. Just remember to weigh up all the relevant pros and cons before your move.