How to find the best place to live in the UK

Property expert Phil Spencer gives you the lowdown on how to choose where to buy

uk property transport.
(Image credit: TBC)

Planning on moving home this year? Picking an area to live in isn't just about your budget, it's also about finding somewhere that suits your family and lifestyle.

According to Channel 4's Phil Spencer, the most popular housing areas usually tick the following boxes. Read on to find out what to look for when choosing a new area to live in.

Think about transport connections

If you live near a train station, have good access to a motorway and aren't too far from an airport, the housing area will be popular. The downside is that the better connected you are, the more noise pollution you get.

Before you buy, check the location of the flight path, the nearest motorway and the prevailing wind direction, as sound will travel with the wind.

Go for areas with useful amenities

A good area will have great shops, restaurants and cafés. To spot an up-and-coming location, look for changes in retail space - if you see that a greasy spoon has been turned into a trendy coffee shop or a run-down boozer has become a gastropub, that's encouraging.

Check with the local planning department to find out if there are any promising plans for the housing area's future.

Opt for places near lush green spaces

If you live in a town, having a place to live where you can take your dog for a walk and where your children can play is a bonus.

Many people work in offices, so the chance to live near nature is important.

Hunt down reputable schools

A couple of years ago, the correlation between crime and property prices in many UK housing areas was clear - the higher the crime rate, the lower the prices were.

Well-educated children who believe in themselves and their opportunities are more likely to get a job than fall into crime, so where there are better schools, there are more desirable properties.