Since reopening, the UK’s housing market shows signs of change, with an upward trend of people actively considering a move out of London permanently. This is due to a shift in priorities, with outdoor spaces and better quality of life replacing the need to be in the middle of a bustling city. The lockdown has given an opportunity to rethink the way we live and work. And it leaves a question mark around if we’re finding the right career-life balance.
However, this option won’t suit everyone and other ways to achieve similar goals without leaving London altogether. Anthony Ward Thomas moves people to second homes every week, and it’s an idea worth exploring if you need to keep your London home.
Buying a Second Home Outside of London –
With all the uncertainty and disruption that came with the lockdown, it makes sense why people plan on leaving London. Living in a busy city is fine when there’s lots to do, and you can vary what you do on any given day. But having to stay in your house or apartment highlights the problem with a lot of inner-city properties. The lack of outdoor spaces has been a common talking point when we speak to customers who plan on or are relocating away from London.
However, leaving London permanently won’t work for everyone, so trading the city for the country outright is a non-starter. Some people need to stay in the capital, even if they feel the same urge for somewhere with more space. This is often because work and family commitments make relocation impossible, and it’s essential to remain in the capital.
If this is the situation you find yourself in, please don’t despair – it could be time to consider buying a second property instead. With some broad research, you can find the ideal holiday home somewhere you can spend weekends at. And we’ll be looking at options that are within a manageable journey length away from London.
Countryside Relocations on the Increase –
Savills are at the forefront of the investigative process throughout the lockdown. Their surveys are adding context to the ongoing trend of people leaving or considering a move away from London. And this is crucial for the Anthony Ward Thomas team, as it helps us prepare for spikes in certain relocations. While it might not be initially obvious why we take an interest in the housing market, it does tie directly into the services we offer our customers.
From their latest survey, Savills report that three-quarters of their respondents are now reconsidering how they balance their careers and home life. This leads many of them to not only consider a relocation within the next year, but some are willing to move much earlier. And even more surprising, some are willing to rent now if it means they can expedite the process.
While it’s not entirely clear how many people may have been pondering this before the Covid-19 pandemic, its impact is undeniable. And Savills also note that ‘a third of respondents from London said they found [the] idea of a village location more attractive than they did before coronavirus restrictions came into force.’
The truth is everything is different now. Record numbers of people are working from home, which may well continue going forward. Companies are restructuring how they operate to survive, and they’ll likely look to cut costs. When you couple this with the renewed drive for a better quality of life and outdoor spaces, it’s clear that the trend of moving to the countryside is not a flash in the pan.
Some Areas To Consider For a Second Home
Now we have set the tone for why people are looking for a move to pastures new, it’s time to consider some locations. Every destination in this brief list is within reasonable proximity to London. That means a commute to the capital can be undertaken by train or car. Moreover, each area already sees a lot of new residents from London, and they represent a good investment.
Bath, Somerset – for the last five years, Bath has been the number one location for people leaving London. And it continues to attract interest after the lockdown, which isn’t surprising. Bath is a stunning city, and quaint villages and small towns surround it. It’s the ideal stepping-stone for people who need a better work-life balance away from London.
Poole, Dorset – the seaside resorts are as much a part of the English identity as a village. There’s nothing better than having some of the country’s best beaches on your doorstep. That’s why Poole has been another popular contender when people relocate away from London and other major cities.
Newbury, Berkshire – even before the lockdown, there was considerable interest from Londoners looking to escape to somewhere more scenic. Newbury is appealing because it’s a vibrant market town, making the transition for city-dwellers easier. Its dynamic business hub will also entice careerists from the capital.
Bristol Area– when it comes to a unique setting, you won’t find anywhere quite like Bristol. On the one hand, it’s a famous city which welcomes thousands of new residents every year. But it also has lots of green spaces and countryside properties.
Tips on Moving from London to the Country –
Make an ‘ideal home’ list – buying a second home in the country is a significant shift in lifestyle and culture, even if it’s not permanent. You can split this into two parts – one being less formal and more about the type of home you’d love to live in. The second part can be more objective, with things like – how many rooms, bathrooms, budget, garden size, number of garages, and so on. It’s worth putting together some basic figures so that you have a general idea of what your budget is.
Get an estate agent on board early – an estate agent will be able to work with your ‘ideal home’ list to start putting together suitable properties to arrange viewings. They’ll also have a lot of working knowledge of the area or areas that you like, as well as being able to discuss more personal aspects. You can try to do the work of the agent yourself, but it’s a time-consuming task that will require you to visit the area on numerous occasions.
Do as much online research as possible – no matter how remote a village or town may seem, there will be information online for you. Even the quaintest, off-the-grid locations can be found on Google. You can find out about what sort of amenities and local attractions are there. You can never do too much research; doing some online searches might help you sift out places that don’t fit your needs.
Visit the areas you like at least twice – nothing beats first-hand experience. You need to visit the places you like because you need to make sure it suits your lifestyle. It needs to have things like schools, healthcare, jobs and possibly transport links if you need to travel for work. Also, you need to make sure that the village or town you’re moving to matches your tastes.
What is a Premium Removals Service?
Anthony Ward Thomas has two leading removals services that cover most normal relocations. Our Small Moves package is our premium version of a man with a van service. Then, we have the Large Removals package, which includes bigger vehicles. Both services are perfect for a majority of domestic relocation scenarios, and we always assess your needs in detail before confirmation.
However, some situations require a specialist level of service, which is why we have second-tier removal packages that we utilise depending on the specifications of each job. Our Piano Removals, Fragile Removals and Antiques & Fine Art Removals packages often involve handling valuable and sometimes irreplaceable items.
We’re known as London’s prestige removals service, and these packages are an indication of why people often need to use our company. We have a track record of relocating valuable works of art and irreplaceable items of furniture. In these circumstances, you get one chance to get it right, and we always deliver a perfect job.
Extra care when packing is essential when handling fragile items. Our Packing service links into every core and specialist package we offer. We guarantee to protect your possessions against damage or breakages during transit. And for customers who are moving fine art or antiques, you can understand why this would be essential.
Using Online Reviews for Excellent Customer Service –
Thankfully, we no longer need to rely on word of mouth recommendations or potluck when booking a removal service. Platforms like Google Live and Trustpilot are changing the way we perceive customer service, giving us more power before booking. Furthermore, it’s possible to access a review from a company’s previous customers.
It works like this – each company that appears on Google automatically gives customers an option to rate them. You can award a company a rating out of five, which can include short-written feedback. By using a company with an average rating of five or just under, the level of service delivery will likely be high.
Unsurprisingly, Anthony Ward Thomas is a five-star company, and you can read our reviews here for yourself. To us, customer service is of paramount importance, and it connects to everything we do. We never cut corners or try to apply the easier option. It’s about attention to detail and ensuring that every job we sign up for is done on time, efficiently, and to the highest standard possible.
Anthony Ward Thomas – Helping You Find the Perfect Second Home –
Anthony Ward Thomas moves hundreds of people to countryside and rural destinations every month. No other company can provide the high standards of service delivery that we attain. And your valuable possessions will be completely safe from breakages and damage during your relocation. That’s why our customers return to us for future relocations and other services.
Achieving the highest standard of customer service is at the foundation of Anthony Ward Thomas’s ethos. Our number one goal is to provide the very best removals and storage service possible in London and the UK. We’re the capital’s number one removals and storage provider, offering a range of premium packages you won’t find anywhere else.
It pays to use a removals provider with a track record of excellent customer service. For us, every detail, no matter how small, all add up to the correct service. And we only employ experts who take a great sense of pride in their work.
If you want to book London’s best removals company for your next relocation, contact us today. We are London’s prestige removals and storage company, and we’re the right choice when moving to your second property in the countryside.