Living in beautiful countryside is a dream for many people. But how easy is it to turn fantasy into a reality? I’ve always been a country girl and my husband commutes into London every week day. The cost of living in the countryside is a lot cheaper than in most major cities and the majority of the time, you can get a lot more in a property for your money. But is moving to the countryside just about getting more for your money or is it a lifestyle change – a new way of family life?
Over the years, I have seen many of our friends come out of London and back to the countryside to raise their family, which begs the question - could this be the middle class dream? The seduction of moving from a two-bedroom basement flat in London to a three or even a four-bedroom house anywhere else can appeal to many.
According to an article in The Mirror in 2014, a study was carried out by Sky 1 to mark the launch of their one-off crime drama, Agatha Raisin and The Quiche of Death. The study surveyed 501 adults who had recently made the move from the City to the Countryside. 23 per cent of those who were surveyed said they had quit the city life because they wanted to escape the rat race. Upsizing, moving back to their roots, or upping sticks to move closer to an elderly relative were all common reasons for making the move.
So just how easy it is to search for that perfect family home if you don’t know your prospect area very well? Having made the move to the country themselves with their own families, Guilty Mother spoke to Property Potential Surrey. They are two former London Mums, who four years ago, set up a property search company to meet what they felt was a gap in the market for hand-holding families when they move out to the countryside. A move out can be such a big leap and while 'the house' is very important, so is the schooling, commute and whether you'll ever make any new friends in the sticks, all of which Jen and Maranda help their clients to navigate.
They recognised the struggle to house hunt on your own when you have young children, or both work or just want more professional help to access the off market houses. And it doesn’t end there, the ladies take you on a tour of your preferred area, set up some houses to visit, so they can get a feel for your budget, and share their local knowledge of the area to help you with your search. Buying your new home will be one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, so it’s crucial to get it right. Not only that, but of course there are other items to consider, such as ensuring the schools are right for your children, as well as calculating the best route for any work commutes.
If your dream home is a cottage in the countryside, then 2018 could be the year in which you achieve your housing goals — despite the slow market conditions. Jake Russell, a director at Russell Simpson, a central London estate agency recently told The Times “for those who are set on moving there is a lot of interest in homes that have been recently completed or modernised and are ready to move into upon exchange,” Russell says. “This can be a better option for those wanting to upsize and who need a liveable space straightaway, or simply don’t have the time to hire an interior designer. Also, as the market softens, now could be the best time to bag a bargain. While those selling may need to be realistic on the price they accept, there is also a lot of value for them in the market when looking for themselves.”
I expect it is difficult to say if there is ever the perfect time to move home, especially in a cautious political and economic climate, but a move from the city to the country could see your money go further. For expert advice on this topic, I recommend speaking to Maranda or Jen at Property Potential Surrey, who will be happy to guide you through the process. They are the ideal companions to talk you through a possible relocation to Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire.
Guilty Mother is working with Property Potential Surrey to offer a free orientation tour - worth £250. That's five hours with them. They will take them on a tour of your preferred ‘house move’ area as well as setting up some houses to visit. They can get a feel for your budget, making your search, just that much easier.
To enter the draw to win a free orientation tour - worth £250, please comment ‘property’ on the Guilty Mother Facebook page. Prize draw ends on 31st January 2018.
Furthermore, Property Potential Surrey are offering a free 'clinic' session on the 19th February 2018 in London, with half hour pre booked slots, where potential buyer can come and pick their brains for free. To attend, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a slot.
The kitchen with an Aga, wandering in the cornfields and wellies lined up by the back door - this could be just what you are waiting for!
For more information, visit www.propertypotentialsurrey.co.uk.