In 2020, with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, there was an unprecedented desire to move out of the city. With people being stuck at home all day, many wanted to swap views of concrete with the tranquillity of the countryside.
Rightmove, the UK’s largest property listing site, recorded a 126% increase in searches for properties in villages in 2020 compared to the previous year. The number of enquiries from people living in 10 UK cities also increased by 78%.
With working from home now much more common than it was before, not to mention the increase in house prices in cities like London, many might still be contemplating making the move from the city to the country. The attraction of beautiful scenery, fresh air, less light and noise pollution as well as increased safety is certainly an alluring prospect. In more affordable areas, it is also possible to buy sizable, detached houses for the same prices that apartments go for in the city.
Despite its benefits, the countryside is not for everyone. Those used to city living may get a shock by the lack of amenities and the potential isolation if you live far from a village. We’ll walk you through some of the most important factors to consider when weighing up a potential move to country.
How rural do you really want to be?
Living in a decent sized village can often strike the balance people are looking for between a sense of rurality and convenience. Larger villages with a few thousand residents will generally have all the basic amenities: a supermarket (or at the very least a convenience store), hairdressers, a post office and a pub.
Some may want an even more rural experience though, with few to no neighbours, for a real feeling of seclusion. The thought of this can be very appealing, however you really need to consider whether you would enjoy the potential isolation, lack of a community and the lack of amenities. Know that you could have to drive at least several miles just to pick up milk or bread; quickly ‘nipping out’ may not be an option.
Will you be able to work?
If you are able to work from home either all the time or for part of the week, you should investigate what broadband speeds are like in the area. The last thing you want is slow or even a lack of broadband entirely, preventing you from doing your job.
If you are required to go into the office certain days (or all the time), you should research how long the commute will take you and if there are any train stations or bus routes nearby. Work out an estimate of what you will spend on fuel or public transport and factor this into your monthly outgoings.
How much space do you really need?
Many of those who move to the country are motivated by the idea of more space. Having a larger house and garden might seem great, but you ought to be mindful of the extra costs that this will incur.
More rooms in a house means more money that will need to be spent on heating, furnishings and general maintenance. Similarly, a big garden may mean you have to spend a lot of your time pruning and mowing the lawn or having to pay a gardener to do this.
If you have children, you will obviously have to investigate nearby schools. Some schools may not accept your children until contracts have exchanged on the property, but some parents may not want to risk moving without having school places confirmed.
Depending on how remote you are, you could end up having to do a very long school run twice a day. Will you have enough time to do the school run and still make it to work on time?
Are you ready for a change of lifestyle?
Country life is very different to city living. Being further away from family and friends will inevitably entail less socialising and going out. Things that you took for granted like restaurants, bars, nightlife and cultural events will no longer be easily accessible.
Make sure you are ready for a slower pace of life where a lively night out consists of going to the local pub. If you think you will miss the variety that a city has to offer, you may want to reconsider a move to the country.
A move to the country is not something that should be taken lightly. We recommend that prior to making a permanent move, you do a trial run where you rent a rural property for several months. If you find that country living isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, you then don’t have to sell a house and can return to an urban area much more easily. Ultimately, there are pros and cons to both the country and the city, but whichever you choose, there will be sacrifices one way or another.
This article was written by an online estate agent House Sales Direct. If you wish to sell your house fast and for free, then head over to the House Sales Direct website for more property related information and enquiries.