Swapping city life for a move to the country
This year 37,370 people have said goodbye to the big smoke and hello to fresh air — 7 per cent more than at the same time last year, according to Hamptons International. In fact, last year one in five city dwellers who sold their homes moved to the country.
While it may be something many of us dream of at a certain point in our lives, swapping city life for country living needs some careful planning and a certain sense of realism. If you’re yearning to test the water, take an honest look at our searching questions below to see if you’re ready to make the move…
What are your reasons for moving?
People move to the countryside for all sorts of reasons – a better quality of life is often cited, which generally means more space, more free cash and more time to spend together as a family. And who wouldn’t want all of those? But not to burst the bubble, it’s worth being completely honest and realistic about your expectations – a significant move can take a good few months before it feels like home so don’t be disappointed if you don’t achieve everything you hoped for straight away.
Have you got employment options?
Plenty of people have successful careers while based out in the sticks. Freelance work, part-time work or home office working are all options which are fast becoming popular among workers. If you need to continue to spend time in the office think about commuting options, or whether you can transfer your skills to a local office. For others, making a clean break from city life means starting anew – perhaps this is your chance to make money from your lifelong hobby, try your hand at running a small holding or write that novel!
Do you enjoy driving?
There’s no getting away from it – living in the countryside will require you to have at least one vehicle. Public transport links are notoriously sparse, cycling may be rather dangerous on country roads while walking may simply be out of the question. Just be prepared to spend more time in the car than before.
How green are your fingers?
Back in the city, a window box or patio garden may have been your pride and joy but how will you cope with acres of garden to maintain? Gardens require an awful lot of work and commitment and that is something to think about when buying your property. Will you have the time and inclination to tend to your green space or will you have the funds to pay someone else to do it for you?
How community-minded are you?
A big part of living somewhere rural is the chance to get involved in the local community. Unlike the big smoke where you can walk around anonymously, in a village setting, you’ll be recognised wherever you go. While it may seem obtrusive at first, there are benefits to being part of a small community where everyone looks out for each other.
Are you happy in your own company?
Conversely, there will be plenty of time to spend on your own in the countryside. Popping in for a cup of tea at the neighbour’s or enjoying a quick glass of wine in the evening may involve a short walk or even a drive depending on your location. Don’t be surprised to find that you will need to schedule in social occasions rather than relying on spontaneous visits.
How important is technology in your life?
If you work from home, have children and teenagers or need the internet for communicating with family, then you’ll need to make sure your chosen location isn’t in a broadband blind spot. While the government has pledged that all homes will have superfast broadband by 2020, the topography of certain terrains mean that signals can be hard to reach for certain homes.
What about the children’s needs?
You’re excited about spending more time together in the great outdoors, have visions of the children swinging from trees in the open fields and all playing charades around the open fire in the evenings, but what about the kids’ opinions?
Their needs could be very different to yours – are there good primary and secondary schools in the area? Are there children in the vicinity that your offspring can hang out with? Are there transport links for your teens to get to town to meet their friends? Unless you want to spend your free time as a taxi service, it’s important to consider these issues.
If you’re still determined to make the move to the country, you’re in good hands. On our website you can find a number of different property types in many different locations – just use the filters to refine your search criteria and start browsing!