countryside home

The retreat from cities to rural areas

As a response to the Covid-19 crisis, here in Tunbridge Wells in Kent, we have seen a rise in professional couples and families making a move from London out towards the countryside. Kent has a lot going for it; the transport links into London are frequent and take approximately one hour and the schools are excellent. Kent still has the 11+ examination which leads into Grammar Schools which is a major draw for those with school age children. The little villages dotted around Kent are picturesque and idyllic. Here we look at our top tips for moving to a rural area.

1. Research is key

Make a note of what your key criteria are for moving house. These will shift as your move progresses, and some will seem less important than before, but it will help you to check in on the original reasons for moving.

As is common in all areas of the country there are places that are more desirable than others. It pays to do research on the areas you like, perhaps stay in a B&B nearby so you can really get a feel for the area, and of course you can always get an honest appraisal in the local pub. It would be worth looking at joining community groups on Facebook to ask specific questions regarding the area you are looking at, such as school catchment, parent and toddler groups, leisure facilities etc.

2. Calculating costs

You will get more house for your money here in Kent than you would in London, although prices are still quite high. You will need to calculate your mortgage affordability based on income. It’s easy to get carried away when you’re searching for properties online but given our complicated economic situation at the moment, we would recommend exercising caution at pushing to the upper limit of your budget. Retaining some flexibility with your disposable income is advisable for any unforeseen expenses.

3. Location location location!

When thinking about where you would like to live it can seem very attractive to do something drastic such as moving to a tiny hamlet surrounded by farmland and amazing views from your home. Do bear in mind though that living somewhere without a shop isn’t for everyone. Another consideration is how adverse weather conditions might affect you. If it snows heavily or if the roads are liable to flooding you might struggle to get provisions or to get to work or school. It can feel like less of an adventure when you are looking at weeks of disruption at a time! Don’t forget to check out the all-important broadband available if you need to work from home.

I hope you found these tips useful? Moving house can be such an emotive thing. There are certainly benefits to city living but there are also so many positive things about moving to a rural area. Personally I think the best option is to live in the countryside near a big town and not too far from a city – then you get the best of both worlds. I would love to know what you think too. Let us know in the comments below?

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