Moving to the country – interpreting the brief
15 October 2013
A woman living in Marylebone commented on how much she enjoyed going out to the country at the weekend. On further investigation it transpired that her idea of the country was Wimbledon Village!
As a buying agent based in the south west clients obviously come to me because they want to move to the country. However, experience has shown how important it is to take time to talk and ascertain exactly what they mean by this.
For many, their interpretation of living in the country is a small town with access to transport links and not too far from an award-winning farm shop and coffee house. Mention no near neighbours, being surrounded by fields and some figuratively run for the hills! Whereas for a smaller number this is the rural dream, especially if they can buy the surrounding land and therefore control the view as well as privacy and security. Good internet access increasingly is a ‘must have’ for all especially for those wanting to work from home, if not all the time then certainly for a few days a week.
Another noticeable trend is interest in growing your own vegetables and keeping livestock. For many this is a small kitchen garden with a few chickens pecking around whilst others want a full blown farm. It is common knowledge that land prices are at record levels with many of the buyers being existing farmers but there are increasing amounts of ‘new money’ coming into the industry from non-farming backgrounds. Many of these view farming in a less commercial way; amenity, organics, welfare and the environment being as important as the bottom line.
The beauty of the English countryside is that it can cater for all these differences but finding the hidden gems requires a lot of local knowledge and can take time and patience to unearth.