Thinking of moving to the country? This has been more appealing to many since the start of the pandemic, which triggered the race for space. Lots of us wanted larger properties with bigger outside areas. But, moving somewhere new isn’t easy and requires careful consideration. If you’re considering it, here’s a handy guide to lend you a helping hand.
Things to consider before moving to the country
Country living isn’t all wellies and cosy pubs, you need to consider if this move is a good decision. You should have an idea of an area you’d want to move to. Some things to weigh up include:
- The cost of space
- Transport connections
- Work/life balance
- Social life
#1 – The cost of space
House prices can be cheaper in rural areas, especially when compared to city living. It’s easy to see the appeal of getting more for your money, however you need to look beyond house prices alone.
Your mortgage payments won’t be your only outgoing. Consider other associated costs also; a bigger property will likely cost more to run, furnish and maintain.
Your energy bills may also be higher, especially if it’s an older property. Carrying out some energy saving improvements could reduce these bills in the long-term, but these renovations will cost money.
#2 – Location
You can change many things about a property, but not its location. How remote do you want to be? You may like the idea of having no neighbours, but what about trekking to the nearest shop every time you want a pint of milk?
It’s a good idea to get a feel for an area before you move there. Visit multiple times if possible, or even stay there. Many people choose to rent temporarily before they buy in a new area to get a feel for it. This isn’t an option for everyone but something to consider.
Also, getting a property report can help you get to know an area before moving. It will provide in-depth information on everything from planning applications to local schools. Get yours below!
#3 – Transport connections
Country life doesn’t have to be remote, but some places are very off the beaten track. What are you looking for? In some places, out of the big cities, transport can be fairly limited and expensive to get around. This might be a shock to the system if you’re used to the speedy London underground!
You may need to compromise somewhere. Cheaper property prices might mean lengthy, expensive train journeys – especially if you need to commute to work. Estimate the cost of fuel and transport and weigh things up.
#4 – Work/life balance
If working from home is your new norm, you may not need to worry about commuting or living near your place of work, which can give you more freedom. But, if you do, this is something to consider, which is why many choose to live in a commuter town or city centre.
You should also look at things like mobile connection and broadband speeds – these will be extremely important if working from home!
#5 – Social life
Transport aside, how well-connected will you be in terms of support and family/friends? Socialising is important, and being far away could make you feel shut off or distant.
Depending on where you move to, existing friends may not be able to visit too often, and while you can of course form relationships in your new community, you should give this some thought.
#6 – Schools
For some, moving to the country for more space is partly due to wanting to grow a family in the near future. Therefore, schools will be an important consideration. Are there many good local ones? Bear in mind that living closer to an excellent school may push house prices up.
Again, a property report can provide information on nearby schools for a property you’re looking to buy, all you need is a postcode. Get yours below!
Reminder: you may not want to move without the assurance of a place at a school, but you can’t confirm a place at a state school until you’ve exchanged contracts.
Should you move to the country?
Is moving to a new area the right thing for you, right now? Regardless of where you’re moving to, some things always apply, including:
Consider your family life, career and other factors – is now a good time to move? It might be the perfect moment, or it might be worth waiting a little longer. For example, most mortgage lenders prefer you to have been in a job for at least six months.
Can you afford it?
This one sounds obvious, but is so easily forgotten. The cost of moving adds up, and it’s not only house prices you need to consider. Other costs include:
- Solicitor fees
- Mortgage arrangement costs
- Estate agent fees (if you’re selling)
- New furniture
- Survey costs
Also, you’ll need to ensure you can keep up with any mortgage repayments, or you risk losing your home. Consider your ingoings and outgoings here.
Decided moving to the country is the right option for you? Here’s some advice to help it go as smoothly as possible:
- Make connections with your new community
- Facebook hubs, sports groups, community activities are all good places to start
- Get to know the area before you buy
- A reliable car is a must!
- Beware buying land: you’ll have to manage it – are you prepared?
- Invest in some countrywear
- Do your research
- Ensure your new property is future-proof
- Will it meet the needs of your family in years to come? Think long-term
- Get your finances in order, don’t be swayed by cheaper property prices alone
Need help moving home?
We’ve teamed up with Propertymark, the leading membership body for property agents, in season 6 of the Move iQ podcast. Together, we’ve made it our mission to help you move home the right way. Tune in below, or on your podcast app of choice.
Moving to the country?
Before you move, get your hands on a property report. It will arm you with plenty of information to help you make the right choice when buying a new home. Get yours below!
Last Updated: January 5th, 2022