As many of you will already be aware, being part of such a vibrant community is massive for us here at Petty Son and Prestwich. We love the fact that there’s always something new going on locally and adore the togetherness these events bring to the places we serve.

Community really is important to an area, but how do you assess a new town or city’s spirit if you are looking to buy property somewhere new? This post will give you a few pointers.

Get social

Unsurprisingly, social media heads up the list in the digital age. There’s no better way to get a feel for how established a community is than to head over to the likes of Facebook and Twitter to see what’s going on.

Simply log in to your social platform of choice and type in the area name you want to check out in the search bar. From there, you’ll likely be presented with multiple accounts to take a look at. Join or follow a few to see what’s happening locally.

While Twitter may have individuals handling accounts for the local area, Facebook’s ‘Groups’ have really taken off, as they bring everyone together under one big community umbrella. These groups provide locals with information on everything, from what’s going on in the area to help finding a decent tradesman in a hurry. They really are a valuable resource.

So, if you want to get a real-time view of what your prospective new town or city has to offer community-wise, make social media your first port of call.

Head to the local library

This may seem a little old fashioned when compared to the aforementioned social media channels, but libraries are still a great place to check out if you want to get a feel for a new area. Many libraries will have ‘Community Events’ boards, and the staff are usually happy to answer any questions you may have about the local area as well. You’ll often find that library assistants are involved in community groups, too, so you’ll be able to get a real insight into what’s going on locally.

Depending on the size of the town or city you are looking at, you might even want to head to one of the upcoming events to get a proper sense of how the neighbourhood gels together. Local events usually draw a cross-section of the community, so you’ll be able to see how well the locals get along. You might even bump into some future neighbours!

Find the local paper

Local newspapers have been a great way to find out what’s going on in the community for years, and they still are. The only difference is that you might have to access them online rather than in print these days.

Where you might only find dates and times of events and fundraisers in the local library, the area’s newspaper will cover everything from sports to stories about the town or city you are looking into. This can give you a valuable insight into the area’s people and the strength of the community in which they live.

Online directories

Online resources such as Wanstead Village Directory are another fantastic way to find out more about the area you are looking at. Sites such as these have gained large followings over the years and they can prove to be excellent research tools for prospective buyers.

Not only will you find event listings on these pages, you’ll also be able to explore local businesses and read featured articles about the area as well, all of which will give you a great insight into the local community.

Look out for local magazines

Many local areas now have dedicated magazines that showcase businesses, events, and more. While these will commonly be delivered door to door, you might be able to pick a copy up from the local train station or supermarket, so keep your eyes open for a stand while you’re checking out the area. Many will also have an online version, so do a quick Google search too.

These publications are extremely popular in and around East London and West Essex, and we even have our very own magazine for you to peruse! So, if you want to know what’s going on in Wanstead, Buckhurst Hill, and their surrounding areas, take a look at the latest edition of The Green.

Check out the community centre

Okay, so this might be a fairly obvious one, but it’s still worth a mention. Naturally, local community centres are at the heart of what goes on in an area and, like libraries, they’ll often have a notice board for you to check out and staff members who are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Grab a coffee

All this research is bound to leave you thirsty, so grab yourself a coffee and relax for a minute or two, but not for too long! Coffee shops are another great place to find out what’s going on locally as they’ll often have notice boards of their own promoting upcoming events in the area.

Independent coffee shops are especially worth checking out, as they’ll usually be run by local people who know the area well. So, go in, order your favourite cup of Joe, and see what you can find out about the place where you may potentially be buying property.

Quiz the local agent

Last, but by no means least, is the local estate agent. While it may sound a little corny coming from us, estate agents really should be on your list of places to check out.

Take us, for example. Not only are we working in amongst the community day in, day out, we’re also heavily involved in it too. We help fundraise for local schools and churches, provide sponsorship for charities within the area, and support sports clubs and events throughout the year, so we really know what’s going should any agent worth their salt.

So, if you want to find out what life is like in Buckhurst Hill, Wanstead, or any of the other areas we cover in East London and West Essex, pop in and say hello or give us a call. We’re always happy to talk about the areas we love!

Wanstead office – 020 8989 2091 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Buckhurst Hill office - 020 8504 5403 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

assessing an areas community spirit