Never has it been so popular to leave the city in pursuit of rural life; buyers are increasingly deciding to move to the country.
Many dream of making the change, usually becoming disillusioned with city life over time and eventually moving. The pandemic fast-forwarded decisions and brought new realisations as some city dwellers quickly saw the potential shortcomings of their undersized yet overpriced homes. Accordingly, a number of so called ‘urbanites’ of all ages in cities around the world are considering a move to the country, exacerbated by the pressures of lockdown.
Buyers are now seeking homes that offer more space, larger gardens and ready access to the countryside. For these reasons and many more, making a move to the country is hugely appealing – here’s our advice on moving to the countryside.
What to know before moving to the country
When you’re looking for a rural property it’s easy to be lured in by the beautiful setting and the pretty homes, the peace and quiet and isolation. It’s important to know whether the property would actually be viable as a place to live:
- If you’re planning on working from home does the property have a reliable and fast internet connection?
- Should you need to occasionally commute, are transport connections convenient and how long will it take in rush hour?
- Are the local amenities good and how far away are they? You might be used to being able to pop to the shop for milk in your current home, rural properties can often require a little more planning of things like the weekly shop.
- If you’re moving with family, are the local schools good and how long will it take to reach them?
It’s usually a good idea to start researching areas before you look at properties so you know which locations are viable before you fall in love with a remote property that would be incredible for a few weeks and then suddenly simply not be practical.
For some a move to a town is the right change from their current city life, towns can often offer an ideal balance of urban and rural. Towns such as Godalming in Surrey, Winchester in Hampshire, Tunbridge Wells in Kent, Marlow in Buckinghamshire, Harrogate in Yorkshire or Knutsford in Cheshire – these locations all offer reasonable commutes into their nearest cities, a range of local amenities and ready access to the countryside; a move to the country doesn’t necessarily mean a move to a remote rural location.
Is country living better than the city?
The perception of what makes one better than the other is entirely subjective; what one person finds to be a higher quality of life might be another’s worst nightmare.
The benefits of country living and the reason so many choose to make the move include the slower pace of life, the availability of larger properties, access to the outdoors and closeness to nature, cleaner air, the potential to create a smallholding, the peace and tranquillity, lower crime rates and often a close-knit community; the list is long and the order differs depending on individual priorities.
There are some drawbacks, as we cited previously; shops can be further away, similarly doctors, dentists and hospitals will usually take longer to reach. Transport connections often require a short drive to reach a station and if you’re planning a move to the country and then hoping to find a job nearby you might find that there are less opportunities.
With technology rapidly advancing and superfast broadband widely available more are working from home than ever before and expect to only have to rarely commute into a central office on occasion. There is definitely a balance to be found when moving to the country, for some this might be found in a pretty market town or large village, others might prefer the isolation and are happy to travel further to reach the shops or station.
Tips for moving to the countryside
We have a few top tips for moving to the countryside and buying a rural property, considerations to bear in mind when looking at a potential new home to ensure the move is a successful one:
- How rural are you willing to go? Explore the areas you’re considering and the location of the nearest amenities that you’ll be using. Visit more than once at different times of the day.
- Ensure a new area will be suited to your work: Is there good internet available? What are the commuting options
- Is the property easily connected to the services – rural property is often set up differently for sewage and gas and can have oil-fired central heating and a septic tank.
- What are the local schools like and how long would the journey take? Are there many children’s clubs nearby and how often do they run?
These are just a few sample points and tips for those planning a move to the country, there are many considerations to make based on each individual’s requirements and lifestyle.
How a property finder can help
It might be that you draw the conclusion that your main residence needs to be in the city for its convenience, commute, schools, friends and family but that you want to purchase a second home that will be able to regularly provide the needed respite from city life. Wherever you currently live our team will be able to guide your search to find locations within a reasonable distance of your home ideal for regular breaks.
When you’re considering a more permanent move to the country the stakes are much higher. Navigating not only a new area but the local property markets whilst calculating commute times and looking at suitable schooling options can quickly become overwhelming. A professional property finder can prove to be an invaluable source of local knowledge when considering new areas and due to their industry contacts can offer access to properties that an unrepresented buyer would unlikely be aware of.