We’ve identified our clients’ top worries and it’s not even about the house……
Putting aside the worry about your mortgage and whether you are going to find the right house, we know it is the wider concerns of our movers that can sometimes cause a move to be postponed or at least take a lot longer to come to fruition whilst they procrastinate. For some of our buyers it takes them years to be finally ready to take the leap and when they do, they often remark they don’t know what it was they were so worried about!
Part of our role is to help our buyers by answering some of their moving quandaries. Moving is a huge upheaval, whether you are moving from the city to the countryside, returning to the UK after a stint abroad or whether it’s your first time living in the UK. Here are some of the worries that we hear time and time again, and how we help our buyers ease their concerns.
I’m used to being able to walk everywhere for the things I need. Do I need to drive everywhere if I move to the country?
Yes, for some activities you will need to get in the car. In practical terms, most of the supermarkets and shops are in the middle or on the edge of the larger towns, so you are more than likely to find yourself about a 5 to 10-minute car journey to get to one of these if you’re living out of town. But we aren’t luddites out here, a huge number of people use online delivery for food or get milk delivered, so if you don’t want to drive to the shop, they can come to you. And if you do forget to order any essentials in your online shop, you just factor a trip to the shop into your day whether it be on the way back from dropping the children at school or a trip to the post office. Pretty much all the bigger villages do have convenience stores, a pub and cafes. They often have a village school, playground, and village hall which will be used in the daytime as nurseries and in the evening for all sorts of activities, from film clubs to yoga lessons. Larger communities will often have tennis courts, a playing field and a cricket, football or rugby club. So, you may be surprised to find you have more on your doorstep than you think.
We don’t want to spend our whole day commuting and worrying about getting back to pick up the kids or never seeing each other.
This is a very valid concern and I know it was one of mine. This is where the Covid curve ball of more people working from home, at least some of the time, has made a big difference for most working parents. However, on the days that commuting is still necessary, there’s the concern about getting home quickly in case of an emergency, working out childcare and the proximity to transport links. Here is where it’s very important to do your homework. Major towns such as Woking and Guildford, for example, have extremely frequent trains to and from London in under 35 minutes, and you can expect to wait no longer than a few minutes to jump on the next train. In terms of how far you should consider moving if there’s a commute on the cards, we recommend to our clients you should be aiming to spend no more than 45-50 mins the train and, then factor in 10 minutes to get to the station.
One of us is keen to make the move out but the other isn’t convinced, what should we do?
This is such a personal preference that it is very difficult not give a sweeping generalisation here. We all hear the stories of ‘the family that only lasted a year in their supposed dream country home’. Moving out isn’t for everyone, you really need to consider why you are moving out. If one of you isn’t so sure, then we often recommended the compromise is to move to one of the areas that offers both a bit of a buzz with plenty of eateries, cinemas, gyms etc but with the countryside on the doorstep. Surrey towns such as Guildford, Cobham, Weybridge, Reigate, Dorking or Haslemere offer a ‘best of both worlds’ appeal that makes them an ideal compromise between town and country.
I’ve got a great circle of friends here. What if I don’t meet people stuck out in the countryside?
The great thing about moving to an area within easy reach of London which includes most of Surrey, Hampshire and West Sussex, is that it’s a well-trodden path populated by many ex-Londoners. This means that you’ll quickly find many kindred spirits, plus you will find all the kids and adult clubs and activities that you had in London out of town too – whether it be kids rugby, Pilates reformer classes or yoga.
If you don’t meet new friends through your hobby, nurseries, schools and neighbours are also a great source of potential new friendships. Many social networks start at the school gates and once your children make friends, so will you. Villages are also surprisingly active and social – often more so than in London – with village events and activities you can throw yourself into with gusto. Our own little village offered multiple ways to socialise when we arrived from London with a toddler group, youth club, village infant school and of course the well-loved village pub. Neighbours have quickly become close friends and there’s even an annual newcomer’s lunch where over 120 villagers gather to offer a warm welcome to new arrivals.
A friendly team on the ground
We find ourselves in the privileged position of not only being able to help clients with the practical side of moving and finding them the home of their dreams, but we also understand that moving home isn’t just about the bricks and mortar. Having made the move to ‘the unknown’ ourselves, empathy and support are very much at the heart of our service. No worry too small, no question too silly, we just want the best move for you and your family so that you start your new life in Surrey, Hampshire or West Sussex on the front foot.