As the country starts to look beyond lockdown, more and more city dwellers are considering an escape to the country. In a series of articles Berwins’ property specialist Khal Shahjahan shares the tips he picked up from a career in property and by making the move himself.
It goes without saying that country life is very different to that in the city - that's the appeal in many cases - though it needs to be considered.
Getting from A to B
Lack of readily available public transport was a hard one for myself to come to terms with when we moved; having lived in London for a few years where buses and the Underground ran like clockwork, being able to drive was not crucial at all.
However, when we moved, I needed to accept the fact that gone were the inebriated nights where a London bus would pick me up from the city centre and drop me off pretty much at my doorstep in the middle of the night for a few quid. We drive almost everywhere now but this may not suit everyone. Even if you can drive and are happy to do so, where do you stand when you cannot; how easily could you get out and about?
Do seriously consider whether you need a bus route or train station fairly nearby - some areas have great connections, other less so - and even then, have a detailed think of how regular services are before taking the plunge; maybe worth checking out whether deliveries from all the main retailers are available in your desired area too!
The same applies to connectivity - a vital element that has seriously come to the fore since the pandemic hit. Rural is great, rural is wonderful - but isolation is not.
There are ways and means to ensure all the right provisions are in place and if you are buying from someone eager to sell, you could even make it part of the deal that they change their broadband from a standard one to fibre optic before the deal is done.
Your forever home is not meant to be a prison but a sanctuary for you and yours with open communication available, and that argument lead to our home being connected to a BT telephone line when we were buying from the developers that had converted it - yes, we did not even have a telephone line when we first looked at our place!
Working from home
Speaking of connectivity, if you are planning to work from home, you probably also want to consider whether the house does lend itself to you creating a separate working space to the rest of the home.
Even if upsizing by moving to the country from your flash city pad, a larger garden does not automatically mean you can plonk a shed to work in or convert garage to an office without lines being available to these areas or signal being strong enough if using wi-fi. There are also the planning and building regulation aspects to think about so make sure you get the right advice before proceeding.
As well as being an advocate for country life, Khal Shahjahan is a property specialist with almost 20 yeas' legal experience. He specialises in all aspects of residential conveyancing.
Khal and Berwins' dedicated and property team is here to help. If you've found your dream home or would like to discuss your property needs, please get in touch by calling 01423 509 000 or use our contact form online.