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Living in Didcot, Wantage, Witney, Bicester

Life in Oxfordshire’s market towns and outlying villages can offer you more space for your money, less passing traffic, excellent local leisure facilities, schools, public transport and plenty of options for an active social life.

What should you consider?

Here are some thoughts from two of the exhibitors who will be at HomeWard on Saturday 29 February.

  1. Ask colleagues - personal knowledge and recommendations from people you trust can be really helpful
  2. Ask colleagues if they can show you around the town
  3. See if there is a local website / forum to get online local advice and opinions
  4. If you have school-age children, visit the schools and ask lots of questions - you can also see their Ofsted rating online
  5. Online searches are a vital first step, but building a relationship with an estate agent is also important
  6. Check the bus routes and timetables - there may be a lot more than you think. All the County's bus companies have modern fleets with well-trained drivers, excellent lighting, CCTV, ample seating on the ground floor for vulnerable passengers and free WiFi and recharging points on some routes.

Advice from the experts

Here is some advice from Mark Gee at PFM Mortgages if you're looking to buy:

"While we would all love to have the perfect location, your budget will ultimately decide where you live; but you would be amazed at how many ways there are to make your budget bigger and get you into your dream home.

"Think about who you are buying the house with, your partner, family, your best friends - you can have up to four people on the mortgage which can increase your budget significantly. It is always worth talking to a mortgage consultant as we have access to many different mortgages and know how to navigate the maze on your behalf."

If you are looking to rent or buy, estate agent Davis Tate has offices across Oxfordshire, and advises:

"If you are looking at getting more for your money, with great schools and transport links, the more rural villages and market towns are ideal, and still offer a complete range of property types to suit individual tastes."

Come to HomeWard on Saturday 29 February to talk to estate agents, developers, mortgage advisers, housing associations and organisations providing shared ownership and keyworker housing about your property options in and around Oxford.