A family keen to move out of London, but in a dilemma about country life

Why they came to Stacks

As surgeons with a young family and two young dogs, Drs AW realised they needed more space and wanted to educate the children outside of London. Due to work commitments they found it difficult to search for or view properties and did not know which areas would suit them best.  They needed local knowledge, eyes and ears and boots on the ground in the local property market, and someone to manage the entire search and purchase process for them. As they had lived in London for 30 years they had some concerns whether they were making the right choice to leave.

What they were looking for

Whilst they worked at the same location, their work schedules differed, so we were looking for a large detached family home that had good access to central London by road and rail.  The move was driven by wanting to provide a large garden for the children so that they would spend more time outdoors and be less tempted to resort to electronic devices to entertain themselves. Good local schools were essential. They also wanted easy access to long country walks for the dogs.  They had some concerns about leaving the amenities and entertainment of London and also about starting a new life where they knew no one. They had good vision and were prepared to do work to the new property, but having completed a renovation that had taken 4 years, they needed a break for a while from having to do the work immediately.  Style-wise, one partner was very keen on ‘traditional English’, whilst the other was very drawn to modern open-plan architecture. They had initially looked at Beaconsfield but did not know much about the area.

What the local area offer could offer

The search encompassed the route out of London along the M40, which gave the most straightforward access to the workplace in the West End, as well as multiple train routes to explore.  We found that the properties along the Great Missenden and Wendover section of the Chiltern Line were getting the most interest, set as they are in the beautiful Chiltern Hills, and with excellent schooling options.  As the search progressed, Stacks provided information on the properties and environs of each location and soon ‘life after London’ seemed an exciting prospect. They were both keener than ever to escape to the country.

How Stacks helped

As business owners, finances were tied up with the business, so we worked towards a consensus on a sensible budget for the purchase, with a view to improving a property in the long-term.  This also helped the focus on a house with good bones and a beautiful setting, and potential for a modern addition in due course, which brokered a compromise on the style debate. 

When ‘the one’ was found, Stacks sourced local experts to help determine the limits and costs of what would be possible in terms of expansion.  An early survey revealed some issues that were taken into consideration for a price re-negotiation, all handled by Stacks.

Stacks also helped with keeping the chain together.  We liaised on the sale of the London property with the clients’ agent and, when the sale looked wobbly towards the exchange date, with our clients abroad, we kept up the pressure to keep the chain together, giving confidence to Drs AW to pushback against unreasonable demands from their purchaser, calming the nerves of our vendor – also abroad – and keeping everyone fully informed.

The happy outcome

‘The one’ turned out to be ‘the mystery house’ – just like the TV programmes. It was one that both Rachel & Nick had seen the previous time it was marketed, and had appreciated it hugely then. The only catch was that it was a large country house that had been divided into two properties in the 1950s.  On paper and online, it was not immediately apparent that this was a contender, but when they received information that it was coming back to the market, they were keen for Drs AW to see it as soon as possible, knowing that the setting and its bones would have great appeal.  On first sight, the whole family loved the house but they were concerned about it being semi-detached. After careful consideration and several visits, the family realised that everything else was perfect and due to the layout of the large house and the gardens, the other part of the house was not visible, so it did not feel or look like a semi-detached house.  They decided to proceed with the purchase and it was full steam ahead to begin negotiations.

The eventual discount on the original asking price was ***% and the family were settled by the beginning of the summer term, in a school that has proved perfect for the children, with tennis, riding and dog-walking straight out of the garden gate taking up all their spare hours since.  That, and planning the modern extension to come….

How Stacks made a difference

“In short, efficiency!!  As surgeons, our working days are very busy and we are not always immediately contactable as we are in clinic or surgery. We wanted a detached house with a large garden, close to schools and railway. We felt reassured that Nick and Rachel were always working for us, keeping in constant contact with the estate agents to find us the best properties to view, keeping us fully informed as to what they were doing and what they had seen and we quickly learnt to trust their recommendation on whether to make the journey out of London on a Saturday or a Sunday to view properties. 

“Stacks saved us countless wasted hours slogging in and out of London – we knew the properties we were coming to see may well be the one, but they were never exasperated when it wasn’t quite right – each visit moved us nearer recognising our ideal property when we did see it.  We also changed our preferences as the search continued. Their local knowledge and contacts gave us the confidence to move quickly as we felt we understood where we were moving to by the time we committed to a purchase. In the end we bought a house that was much further out of London than we had first intended and it was also a semi-detached. But from the day we moved in, it felt like home and we have not missed living in London at all. We’ve made good friends with our neighbours and it feels reassuring that we are not too isolated.

“The final push to exchange was very stressful due to factors outside our control, but Rachel & Nick were on hand to keep the information flowing, which helped enormously in holding our nerve.

 “We can’t imagine how we would have achieved such a successful outcome without their help and we’re so happy it’s hard to imagine living anywhere else.  We’d advise everyone to get your own Stacks RD, trust them with their knowledge, let them do their job, be brave and visit properties that you would not normally consider as you may just find that hidden gem.”


If you are too busy to dedicate enough time to your house-hunt, delegate the hard work to Stacks Property Search and allow them to help you find, secure and move into your forever family home this year.  Contact your local Regional Director here to find out more about the possibilities for your property search.

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