You only need to look at the number of property programmes on TV and dedicated supplements in the Sunday papers to realise that us Brits are a nation obsessed with property. Although rising house prices and a shortage of supply has made home ownership increasingly difficult, the aspiration of buying a home and then moving up the property ladder is as strong as ever. Our homes aren’t just a place to live; they’re an investment in our future and an important source of financial security.
For most of us, buying a home is the single biggest investment we will ever make. It is, therefore, imperative that we make the right decisions and the local area is central to this process. It’s a cliché, but location must be a major consideration during any property purchase, whether you are buying for the first time, moving on or as an investment. So although a property might seem like the ideal home, considering the surrounding area including what amenities it offers, how easily you can get to work, the quality of the local schools and what local investment is taking place is absolutely vital, not only for the present but to protect your investment in the future.
Take some of the initiatives in our own local vicinity of Horsley. A significant amount of investment has been made, both in terms of maintaining the historic landmarks and bringing new and exciting development to the area, all of which make it an attractive prospect for would-be home owners.
The local Nomad Theatre, for example, offers a range of productions from Shakespeare to modern musicals and is a huge draw in East Horsley. As if one theatre weren’t enough, welcome plans are afoot for a second. The Theatre in the Woods, which is currently in development within the grounds of 300-acre estate West Horsley Place, will be home to Grange Park Opera and is set to make a significant contribution to our local area. With an ambition for use beyond opera to include hosting educational events, this new theatre will make a fantastic contribution to our locality, as well as firmly establishing our villages as a cultural hub – again, a big tick for anyone looking at property in and around The Horsleys.
When it comes to local landmarks, St Mary’s Church in West Horsley can be dated back over a thousand years to 850 A.D. and is steeped in history. The King William IV pub (as particular favourite of mine) dates back to the 1830s and then there are the Lovelace buildings, a collection of historic homes and constructions which transformed East Horsley in the 1860s and are central to the local community and its history.
And talking of central, The Horsleys are within easy reach of major commuter links and have their own train line into London for work, not to mention an excellent selection of both private and state schools, with the Raleigh primary school (rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted) featuring high on the list of reasons to move to the area. Similarly, our local football club, Horsley F.C., is popular with football fans and families, and is also proud to be recognised by the Football Association as an FA Charter Standard Club.
It might sound obvious, but buyers often overlook or fail to fully research the local area before buying a property – mainly because they have fallen in love with a home and this aspect of the buying process pales into insignificance. Of course it’s important to love the home you buy, but ensuring you’re making a head as well as a heart decision will safeguard your investment more effectively in the long run