Finding the right location to live

PUBLISHED: 12:21 22 September 2015 | UPDATED: 12:21 22 September 2015




Phaedra Howard is a member of Savills’ Chelmsford-based residential team. She grew up on the east coast, but now lives in Chelmsford and has been selling houses for 13 years. Phaedra joined Savills in 2005 and specialises in prime property in the city and surrounding villages.

Finding the right location

It’s not for without good reason that estate agency is synonymous with the adage location, location, location. The L word is incredibly important and buyers will often compromise on other requirements in favour of the perfect position. With its coastline, countryside and urban landscape, the diversity on offer in Essex means there is great scope for house hunters to find just the right spot, especially if they build a relationship with an estate agent who has excellent local knowledge. A clued-up agent will know not only about the property they are marketing but also about its surroundings and will be able to suggest areas that a would-be purchaser may not have considered.

So what are the key questions to ask? One of the most pressing priorities is proximity to a train station and the length of time it takes to get to London. It’s a very good idea to test out any commute, whether by rail or road, to make sure it really is manageable. Bear in mind that the best route may not always be the most obvious and it is worth asking if the agent knows of a quicker way.

For many people, schools are a major consideration if not the prime motive for a move, which makes location crucial. The sought-after King Edward VI Grammar School and Chelmsford County High Schools for Girls, for example, have a 12-mile catchment radius.

Facilities such as a pub or Post Office are must-haves for many, particularly for purchasers who are downsizing to a village rather than a larger town. We are fortunate in Essex that these local amenities are still widespread. Being on a bus route is also a popular request as are opportunities for sporting pursuits and nearby bridleways for equestrian enthusiasts.

Sparrows in Little Baddow really does tick all the boxes, offering the best of both worlds in terms of location. It is situated in a secluded position in the desirable village of Little Baddow, which is at the heart of the Chelmer Valley but is just 15 minutes from Chelmsford town centre. Sparrows is a delightful country house, with six bedrooms and four bathrooms set in about 1.78 acres. It is on the market with Savills in Chelmsford for £1.6m. For more details, call 01245 269311.

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