What kind of country dweller do you think you are

Since the arrival of Coronavirus, and the start of Lockdown, there has been a growing trend for homeowners to reassess their living requirements. It’s hard to imagine a return to the traditional nine-to-five office lifestyle, and Londoners particularly are assessing more rural locations as an attractive alternative to expensive urban homes that are short on both inside and outside space and green surroundings.

Rachel Johnston of Stacks Property Search says, “Some city dwellers have been throwing money at the problem, renting out-of-town properties on short term lets, or pressing fast-forward on a planned move away from the city. But there are many who had seen a move as something that would happen in a year or two and are now behind the curve and struggling to catch up. 

“Reluctant city dwellers are looking to make things happen quickly, but while there’s a strong desire to move out of the city, there’s also a fear of making the wrong choice of location. Office workers who are extending their search radius due to home-working are finding themselves spoilt for choice and struggling to know where to start.

“Choosing a category of rural is a good starting point, otherwise the choice is just too overwhelming. So the first question that needs answering is ‘what kind of country person do you think you are?’ There’s a world of difference between living in the middle of a field miles from anywhere, and living in a vibrant market town.”

What kind of country dweller are you?

Full Monty rural

“For those who have a large noisy family and love the great outdoors, or for those who seek privacy and solitude, a house in the middle of nowhere with sheep as neighbours, and only the sun, stars or moon as ambient light, this is a great choice. There are huge advantages – a good-sized plot, parking space galore, options for extending or developing, and space to grow things and keep animals.

Village light

“Buyers looking for a slightly less hard-core version of country living may look towards a hamlet or small gathering of houses, probably a church, but no pub or shop. Roads will be better and there will be a small community to become involved with. When it comes to demographics, not all hamlets are equal. Some may be very rural with families who have lived there for generations, others that became sophisticated London satellites are now a hub of homeworkers.

Full-fat village

“Start adding a shop, pub, possibly school and other facilities to a hamlet, and it becomes a proper village. Land will only be available if you’re on the perimeter, and it will come at a premium. Gardens will be smaller, parking may be harder to come by, but you will have ways of becoming involved in a new life – all the things that come under the heading of ‘community’. Like hamlets, villages tend to have a dominant demographic, so while some will be young with lots of families, others may be largely occupied by the retired, or some of the more picturesque may have a high proportion of weekenders and Airbnb’s.

Market town – urban light

“A market town is more anonymous than a village, there will be a variety of shops, bars, and facilities, but you will have to work harder to make friends. A good market town can be a lovely thing, but sometimes London migrants think it’s a good stepping-stone to a deeper rural experience. The danger of this is that the next move will be harder – you will have adapted to a manicured form of country living, and the muddier version will require a whole new level of adaptation.”

“One outcome of living through this pandemic is that local social media groups have become such an important part of all communities lives, and it’s become very easy to tap into the demographic, spirit and mood of people who live in an area. It really is worth spending some time scrolling through posts and disappearing down the rabbit holes of other groups and societies that will inevitably appear in the posts of a local community’s account.

“So whichever version you choose, take the plunge, but examine your inner self and decide which variety suits you best. You won’t find London life in the country, but you’ll find a different life, and it has a lot to offer.”

Call: +44 (0) 1594 842880

Email: info@stacks.co.uk

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