By Chris Hammond, Director of Beau Property, boutique developer exclusively in and around Tunbridge Wells
Knowing the location you are choosing to develop or build in has proven to be incredibly beneficial – for developers, but also for the buyer.
Understanding a location is one thing but knowing the culture, the market and the people that live in the area is a completely different ball game and one that has significant advantages. Living an area for a considerable amount of time, means an understanding of the way of life of that town or village. You will understand where the best eateries are, the best walks, the best local events and businesses, hidden gems, or just simply what locals like to do on a Sunday – stuff that buyers want to know but may not always be apparent from the brochure.
Developers seeking to develop outside of their patch, may only understand the ‘initial attraction to the area’. For example, the best schools according to Ofsted ratings or how far away the rail commute is from London – but not what the parking is like at the station or what their buyers would want to do day to day once they have settled.
A local developer will know all these initial benefits, which most buyers will be looking for, but will also know the culture of the town, who to get to know, and the fabric of the town and its people. Good developers will also play an active part in the local community, supporting charities and engaging with people around the opportunities – and challenges – that each development brings. Too often developers come into a town and think they know what’s important but leave important aspects out of their design or their public consultation process. This can be arrogance, or it can just be ignorance about the way of life in the area that ‘outsiders’ just wouldn’t know.
As a buyer, you will know that if the developer has an established portfolio already in the area, then your future property will be built for the area rather than simply for profit. They will have strong ties to the local community and look at investing into the area rather than just the land they are building on.
The homes are also less likely to be overpriced. We hear too often that a developer picks a location based on a thriving marked and an inflated sense of value. A local developer will know what the right price is and the makeup of the target audience for the area together with what those audiences will be willing to pay. Local developers will also know and have trusted tradesmen in the area, so your build will be to a guaranteed high standard and will know the community so you’re less likely to have annoyed the locals by living in a new build. Not every big developer will come into an area and get it wrong, and not every local developer will build the best home, but one that has grown up in an area and used that knowledge to build the best homes that support the community and local growth is worth betting on because if they know their pitch, they’ll be the best in the patch.