Real Story – Canada to Wales

Real Story – Canada to Wales

I met Mikeila Li on Instagram when I asked  for information about moving to North Wales.  Her response was so heartwarming I didn't just want to include a short quote but instead thought her wise words would resonate with lots of people.  Moving to a new area, from a different country, newly married - it makes me quake!  Mikeila has clearly thrown herself into life in Wales and her advice is very sound.   From Canada to North Wales I was born and raised in Canada. I grew up in British Columbia, which is, in my opinion, the most beautiful of the Canadian provinces. To the coast of the Pacific ocean, to the tip tops of the snow-covered mountains, BC has all a nature-lover could ever hope for.    My husband Tony, is a engineer. He was born in China, but moved to Canada when he was 11.  Soon after we were married, he was given the opportunity to do his masters and PhD in physics through the University of Huddersfield. The university has a little lab in a building owned by Glyndwr University, in the St Asaph business park in Denbighshire, North Wales. So, we decided to move there at the beginning of January 2017. Neither of us had been to Europe at all before this.  Tough times to start The first five months or so in Wales wasn't great. I was extremely homesick, and lonely (missing my young siblings and all our family connections back home)  I was only 20 and both of us felt very lonely, and very set apart from everything we had ever known. We...
Real Story – Country but connected

Real Story – Country but connected

Alex's story is one which is all too familiar - the need for space, the easy commute, the requirement of decent schools.  We are always asked where people should go - and Buckinghamshire certainly hits the spot for many.   Country But Connected Two kids. Central London. Yearning for more space. Needing to commute.  We’re such a cliché, it’s nauseating but clichés ring true for a reason – they’re the well-trodden path that many of us find ourselves facing in the journey to a happy little ever after. My husband and I had always been South West Londoners.  Much to his chagrin, I still regularly attempt a "Sarf London accent innit", which is no mean feat considering I’m from Melbourne and my “Sarf London” was well-heeled Clapham but God loves a trier, I give it a bash.  After moving to London, meeting a fella and moving out of my various lovely flats in Balham, we set up shop in his bright sunny flat Betwixt the Commons (yes, the estate agents make it a proper noun with capitals and all) in Clapham and got hitched, only to find I was up the duff a few months after the wedding.  Hubby was on gardening leave from a job and I got home from work to find he’d put the flat on the market, bought a family car and had a list of houses to visit that weekend.   I’d barely peed on a stick and he was living by the mantra “time waits for no man”.  We moved into one of the oldest houses in Clapham, a 3-storey, 3.5 bed with a...

Moving to the Country Roadshow

On 17th April I will be at Olympia talking to people who want advice on moving out of London and I'd love you to join me. I will be there with more than 30 out of London local estate agents showcasing their properties and talking to you about different areas of the UK.  All the agents are part of a consortium called The London Office and this is their opportunity to talk directly to you, the London buyers. You might not find your perfect home at this event but it does provide a couple of very useful services. 1.  You get the chance to look at lots of different areas without leaving the building!  If you aren't yet sure about the specific location this is a great opportunity to look at a wide range of places; 2.  Meeting Estate Agents from each area gives you a chance to grill them on their patch.  Give them a chance to tell you about their area and see for yourself what your money can buy - it can really open your eyes to different areas; 3. Stacks Property Search and Acquisition Agents are in situ at the event. This is a great opportunity to meet personnel from Stacks and pick their brains.  They will be delighted to talk to you about the buying agent role and what they can do for you.  We spend a lot of time recommending buying agents to our members as they do offer a great service to those looking to move; 4.  There will be London agents on hand to offer advice on selling your property in London, able to talk about the...
Moving to Lewes

Moving to Lewes

Why did we even leave London? We made the move from Stoke Newington in London to Lewes, East Sussex two years ago now. Ours isn’t a story of growing tired of London, of finding it too busy or feeling fed-up with the grime, crime, noise or air quality. I loved London – and I still do. Addicted to London I’m sure I was addicted to the capital, stepping out of the front door was just like getting a top-up of that buzz, the amazing energy of a place that is always changing - new faces, new places popping up (and closing down), constantly feeling like things were ‘happening’ all the time and that we were right there. In fact, I have to admit that I was once one of those people who would wrinkle my nose up about the idea of leaving London… why would anyone want to leave one of the best cities in the world? I couldn’t think of anywhere else I would rather be. I often used Stewart Lee’s brilliant sketch about moving to the countryside as validation for my feelings, but of course, I’m so ashamed of those feelings now – of being so dismissive of something I frankly had no idea about. When two became three My partner Will and I lived in a two bedroom apartment with our two daughters (at that time aged 6 and 3) We knew we wanted a third child but soon realised we just couldn’t afford a bigger place in Hackney. We had a choice - move our children out of school to another cheaper area of London or just...

Choosing a Removal Company

Time and again on our Facebook group and via emails we are asked about removal companies so I'm delighted to share this article about choosing a removal company.  My own advice, to add, is to get a couple of quotes and don't always go for the cheapest.  Check references and it's worth talking to people such as Gentleman and a Van but also talk to removal companies in your new area as another option.  They must be used to London moves too, because negotiating London streets is no easy task! Questions to ask when deciding on a removal company Whether you are moving to the next door street, another city or even another country, choosing the right removal company can make all the difference when moving home. Here are some useful things to consider when choosing the right company. Do I need to use a removal company? Never underestimate the amount of physical and mental organisation it takes to move the contents of your home. Packing boxes is just the start but lugging boxes and furniture into and out of a van and up and down stairs can be exhausting and extremely time-consuming. Using a removal company will take this burden off your shoulders and free you up to concentrate on all the other things associated in moving. In the great scheme of things, removals is not the expensive part of moving home.   Do I need to get more than one quote? It’s always sensible to get two or three quotes from professional removal companies well in advance of your completion date. Don’t just take price into account,...