A Countryside Commute

London is essentially three C’s; A Cosmopolitan Cocktail of Conveniences. Work is just a tube journey away, coffee shops and bakeries around the corner, along with elite restaurants, great parks, museums and striking architecture. This ‘on-the-go’ lifestyle is initially what drew you to the city, where you are always at the pulse of activity. But, when the lingering smell of coffee and daily shuffle for the tube starts to grate on you, and not to mention the fact that you miss the fresh air and open spaces out of London, you know you have choices to make. So, where to next? You are probably accustomed to the conveniences of city life, which you would still like to savour, just maybe at a slower pace, amidst fresher air and quieter surroundings. Could a modern new home, set in one of the best places to live in the UK, be the answer? From the wise words of zen Monk, Haemin Sunim, "living life in the slow lane is the answer to happiness". These reassuring words of wisdom should come as a comfort to you amidst your dilemma, but where would be slow enough? The London commuter belt stretches far and wide, where you have a mix of metropolitan cities, seaside towns and many rural villages. Best of Both Worlds? If a village is too isolated for you, and a city too much of a rush, then Fleet could be your answer. This reputable town has been honoured with the accolade of being the happiest place to live, the best place to live, and is also popular with commuters. The train journey, operated by South West Trains, into London is...
Buying a Holiday Let Business

Buying a Holiday Let Business

Are you considering a home with an income? Holiday lets provide excellent ‘homes with income’ and great lifestyle opportunities for people looking to move to the countryside - the properties usually come with acreage giving the owners the chance to keep animals, grow vegetables and organic farm. Running a smallholding has flown higher up most purchaser’s wish lists it seems. Being at least semi self-sufficient is extremely attractive to those moving from the big cities who want to edge away from the big supermarket chains and learn a new skill. The income from the self-catering business usually pays for the running cost of the property and is very tax efficient - living expenses including motoring costs, utilities and other expenses can be run through the accounts. What is the situation is with mortgages and stamp duty on an income generating property purchases? Stamp duty for these types of property is favourable - they are classed as non-residential properties meaning they attract a lower stamp duty rate. Non-residential property up to £150,000 has a nil rating.  Between £150,000 and £250,000 has a 2% rating.  Anything above £250,000 is charged at 5% but there are circumstances where this can be reduced by taking further advice from accountancy practices who specialise in stamp duty. Therefore even if you buy a holiday lettings business with a main house worth £3million you will only pay 5% stamp duty. We have seen in 2016 a renaissance of financing for properties of this type - the cap for financing is now increasing making the purchase of holiday letting businesses more viable. In the downturn it was...

Margot tries the good life

A few years ago I met a girl who was moving out of London.  She called herself Margot, of The Good Life fame. She wasn't a country girl at heart and had serious nerves at the new life she was forging for her, her husband and her two little girls.    We met in Barnes before her big more and we talked...a lot - all about it and how to make it work. She moved, and to say she embraced country life would be to rather belittle all her achievements.  She's become a renowned writer on life in the country, (she writes a blog you should read) she's raised pigs and chickens as well as lambs and she's more than survived her transformation from self-confessed townie to an all out bumpkin (retaining her glamourous side still rocking a pair of heels and a designer outfit between wellies and jeans of course). Soon after Margot moved I had the pleasure of visiting her home in the country.  It was surprisingly quick to drive from South West London and I was immediately charmed.  Despite being only 4 miles from Basingstoke it feels total rural and blissfully peaceful.    The house itself was delightful; so much character but most importantly for me, just the most lovely feel - an atmosphere that you can't buy.  Since she first moved we've met and chatted quite a lot - she regularly nips on the train to Waterloo to meet me, and others for meetings not least because it ensures Margot gets her London fix!  I'm not sure how she has found the time for any work...

Why haven’t you moved yet

Why I think you need help.... The summer holidays are fast approaching and you haven't got a moving date....you're either early stages of planning your move, or you are procrastinating about you move out of London. I'm no expert in your family circumstances but I'm going to give you a few nudges to help you decide if you're procrastinating for the right or wrong reasons. You haven't viewed a house yet because you're not sure of the area yet Get out and about.  Seeing houses, even in the 'wrong areas' can help get the ball rolling and build a bit of momentum.  Sitting at your desk house-hunting isn't going to result in you buying a house.  Locations can look fabulous on paper but might not have the right vibe for you when you visit.  Plan a few weekends driving around and getting a feel for different areas.  Look at houses at the top and bottom of your budget so you can begin to better understand the local market.  This moving out of London thing should be treated like a project - undertake it efficiently to make it happen. You are certain of the area but haven't viewed a house yet despite trawling the internet daily You're going to think I'm mad but the chances of you finding a house through rightmove/zoopla/onthemarket/primelocation (or any of the numerous others) is actually pretty slim.  Whilst handy for research those portals are really just listing pages.  Old fashioned as this sounds you need to call the estate agents.  It is in their interests to sell houses as quickly as possible so when they've got a new...

Real Stories moving back to Devon

Moving Back to Devon - Our Story Childhood Memories I was lucky enough to have spent my childhood in Devon, in a lovely house on the outskirts of Exeter overlooking the Haldon Hills. As a family we spent every weekend exploring the coastline, the moors  (Dartmoor and; Exmoor) and the many woodland walks and nature reserves in between. Family holidays were spent a little further afield in Cornwall where we honed our surfing and water-skiing skills around Rock and Polzeath. At school along with many of my friends I took part in the annual Ten Tors event, the Duke of Edinburgh scheme and learned to sail on the Exe estuary with the CCF. As a teenager I enjoyed a lot of independence and the relative safety of the area spending summer holidays at the beach travelling by train or cycling to Woodbury Common for a picnic with my friends.   After ‘A’ levels I went to Australia for a year out and met my future husband whom was from London but who had been to boarding school in North Devon. We had a lot in common from our love of the beach and watersports to many of our favourite places in Devon. London and the Commuting Life After graduating from Warwick University I moved to London to work as did most of my friends from school and uni. I enjoyed several years working in London and living in Battersea, West Acton and Ealing Broadway. When my husband and I decided to buy our first house we decided on St Albans as it was an easy commute into London for work but was surrounded by countryside which we were both craving. Househunting again...

Found the perfect house?

You've spent months house hunting and finally found your perfect house....with great excitement you're all set to get the negotiations going BUT something is missing. Expert Eye You need an expert eye to look at what you're doing; you need someone to check if you have missed something; to double check the flooding; the council reports on proposed building; you need to ask the right questions and you need a plan for the negotiating. We can't all be experts in everything - sensible people surround themselves by experts in their field. Why would we buy a property without asking for expert advice? Who is your expert? You might not need the services of a buying agent when you've already found the house but that doesn't mean you don't need someone to help you for this last bit.  I'm delighted that Henry Pryor offers such a service.  For just £100 he will check out the details of the house you've found, he'll ask the right questions of the selling agent, he will check what you might have missed.  He's a sort of 'fatherly figure' who you can ask.  He understand property, he understand the market and he'll give you valuable advice on your future house. How much? I won't guess how much you're spending on your move but with the cost of removals and stamp duty and the solicitors I think £100 is pretty much a bargain to pay for someone to cast their eye over your purchase.  It's really straightforward to get the service so just click this link and get your property under the microscope of Henry Pryor.  ...